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    “A worried story”, lure of truth – Liberation


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    Sabina Loriga and Jacques Revel’s essay looks back at the genesis of the “linguistic turn”, this intellectual movement of the second half of the 20th century, which allowed a profound change in the social sciences.

    The end of the last century was marked by a questioning of the way of writing history. The discipline of history, from its distant university origins, was nevertheless convinced that it produced reliable, objective and cumulative knowledge of the past. This questioning has a name: the linguistic turn. In this brilliant and very informed book, Sabina Loriga and Jacques Revel study the genesis and the reasons for this intellectual movement, especially Anglo-Saxon. Although their work focuses first on historiography, it offers a penetrating reflection on the shock that the taking into account of their linguistic dimension represented for the social sciences.

    Trust in historical truth

    Proponents of the linguistic turn consider that “Human experience and the relationship it maintains with reality cannot be thought about without taking into account the mediation of language”. But the latter is not a medium neutral which would give access to an objective world. To the reflections on language that run through the entire 20th century, the linguistic turn therefore introduces “an essential suspicion” because he considers that speeches have their own meaning which does not refer to anything other than themselves. They are therefore not instruments for approaching the truth, any more than for describing reality. These doubts are more generally part of the crisis of legitimacy of the pro

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