Abuse of Language Abuse of Power (Josef Pieper)
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This book is well your time. It is insightful and profound. You will find yourself re-evaluating your approach to language. I forces your to think on a different plane. I Highly recommend it.
Josef Pieper is one of my favorite contemporary philosophers. He gives you all the commonsense, all the grandeur, all the Truth that has passed down through history, all the way back to Aquinas, to Augustine, to Paul, to Christ. What more dare we ask for?
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)once wrote, "It is better to live uncomfortably with the truth than contentedly with lies." Joseph Pieper would agree except, Joseph Pieper would argue that living with truth and honesty can make men live comfortably. Jospeh Pieper's small book titled ABUSE OF LANGUAGE:ABUSE OF POWER is a serious book which makes this very clear to readers. Pieper begins this book with a serious treatment of Plato's (427-347 BC)serious dispute with the Ancient Athenian sophists who taught men to use clever words and communication to deceive men with total disregard for truth. Plato argued that the sophists were very dangerous men because of their intellectual prowess and supposed sophistication. The unleaned could be easily misled and become dangerous because of the respect given to the sophists which they did not deserve. Readers may ask what is the relevance of the dispute between Plato and the sophists to modern Western "Civilization." One answer may be studied in the ... Read more
We drive down the freeway of life and are bombarded with little slogans and attempts to convince and smartly convert us to a way of thinking with marketing bill boards, or through the mail, on TV, in the paper - subtle attempts to steal our minds by over-loading them with a coorporate marketing agenda and sloganism. A bit abusive language on my part. The question is worth pondering, and the questions raised in this book are of the sort that any educated man should ponder, even if there is no solution, it makes great "smartening-up" not "dumbing down" (sloganism) of the curriculum. Peiper persuasively argues that communication is not happening as much as might be thought, because communication must be void of ulterior motives. And his arguement that we must be able to express our view of the "truth of things" in freedom; why many do not is due to what he calls "the lingo of the revolution".
In this slender, but powerful work, the great (and often overlooked) Thomistic scholar Josef Pieper sends out a call to arms against "every partisan simplification, every ideological agitation, every blind emotionality . . . [and] well-turned yet empty slogans . . ." He pulls no punches in taking on those modern (and ancient) sophists who rape and pillage language in order to obtain political power and cultural currency. He also takes on modern advertising, noting that we live in an age and culture where "what is decisive is not what you say, but how you say it." In an era of politically-correct pap, vapid mantras and bumper-sticker philosophy, this book sends a clear, clean note of truth into the murky darkness of a deafened and confused populace.