Foucault On Kant by Entreves

By Entreves

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By Entreves

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While Chomsky’s native speakers observe these rules without ever erring (which seems to me a decidedly hazardous generalisation), my francophone students commit such ‘errors’ and find it difficult to distinguish between sentences (6) and (7) on the one hand and (8) and (9) on the other. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they have not been exposed to the English language before the age of eleven – too late for the parameters to be triggered. 30 • Chapter Two But this takes us back to the monad and its complexity: the human brain is effectively too complex a watch to do without a watch-maker.

Next comes the emphatic use of the construction, where the syntactic constraints are roughly the same, yet the meaning is no longer reflexive but intensive: syntax and semantics are dissociated. We can see this in the contrast between (21) and the following two sentences: (22) I myself said it. (23) Although I say it myself. Last comes the honorific use of the reflexive construction, where neither syntax nor semantics is reflexive, even though reflexive pronouns are still employed. Thus sentence (25) is a more polite, or more servile, version of (24): 34 • Chapter Two (24) Is it for you?

We must therefore account for the fact that sentences (6) and (7) are grammatical, while (8) and (9) are not: (6) The candidates wanted each other to win. (7) The candidates believed each other to be dishonest. (8) *The candidates believed each other were dishonest. (9) *The candidates wanted me to vote for each other. ) In (8) ‘each other’ is the subject of the substantival clause ‘(that) X were dishonest’; and its antecedent is therefore not situated in the same clause, but in the main clause.

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