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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

Print version ISSN 0041-476X

Abstract

CLOETE, Michael. Language and politics in the philosophy of Adam Small: some personal reflections. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2012, vol.49, n.1, pp. 115-130. ISSN 0041-476X.

Small's philosophy draws its inspiration from the humanistic tradition of Western philosophical thinking. His appropriation of this tradition is especially evident in his reformulation of the western legacy of "philosophy-as-dialogue". From this perspective, Small proceeds by way of a linguistic turn, in which Kaaps (the language of "ordinary", "simple" so-called "coloured people") is presented as a worthy conduit of human reason in the pursuit of dialogue and justice in apartheid South Africa, in spite of numerous attempts over the years by racist-inspired scholarship to reduce the language to the level of ridicule and caricature. This article seeks to evaluate the philosophical merits of Small's linguistic turn, in which the "will-to-dialogue" is postulated as the normative context for exploring the question of the possibility of being-human in apartheid South Africa.

Keywords : intellectual conscience; humanism; linguistic turn; philosophical reason; will-to-dialogue.

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