‘The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man : the Structuralist Controversy’ : 18th to 21st October 1966 (Baltimore, USA) : Richard Macksey & Eugenio Donato (Eds)

by Julia Evans on October 18, 1966

Texts presented at an international symposium, entitled ‘The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man’, at The Johns Hopkins Center, Baltimore, USA, from 18th to 21st October 1966.

All the contributions to this symposium were published in: ‘The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: the Structuralist Controversy’ edited by Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato: The Johns Hopkins Press Baltimore and London: Published 1970

Index of Post

Contents of ‘The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man: the Structuralist Controversy’

Quote from the Preface

Quote from ‘About the Participants’

Colloquists at the seminar


ix         Preface

Richard Macksey                    1          Lions and Squares: Opening Remarks

René Girard                             15        Tiresias and the Critic

See Tiresias and the Critic: 18th October 1966: René Girard or here

Further posts by René Girard here

Charles Morazé                      22        Literary Invention

33        Discussion

See Literary Invention :18th October 1966: Charles Morazé & Discussion by Jacques Lacan or here

Georges Poulet                     56        Criticism and the Experience of Interiority

Other texts by Georges Poulet here

73        Discussion

Eugenio Donato                  89        The Two Languages of Criticism

Lucien Goldman            98        Structure: Human Reality and Methodological Concept

110      Discussion: Eugenio Donato-Lucien Goldman

See Structure: Human Reality and Methodological Concept :18th October 1966: Lucien Goldman with Comments by Jacques Lacan or here

Tzvetan Todorov                    125      Languages and Literature

Roland Barthes                       134      To Write: An Intransitive Verb?

145      Discussion: Barthes-Todorov

See  To Write: An Intransitive Verb? & Discussion: 19th October 1966: Roland Barthes or here

Jean Hyppolite                       157      The Structure of Philosophic Language According to the “Preface” to Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of the Mind’

169      Discussion

See The Structure of Philosophic Language According to the “Preface” to Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of the Mind’ & Discussion: 19th October 1966: Jean Hyppolite or here

Other texts by Jean Hyppolite here

Jacques Lacan                         186      Of Structure as an inmixing of an Otherness prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever

195      Discussion

See Of Structure as an inmixing of an Otherness prerequisite to Any Subject Whatever: 21st October 1966: Jacques Lacan : See here

Guy Rosolato                         201      The Voice and the Literary Myth

215      Discussion

Neville Dyson-Hudson           218      Structure and Infrastructure in Primitive Society: Lévi-Strauss and Radcliffe-Brown


Jacques Derrida                       247      Structure, sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences

265      Discussion

See Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences & Discussion: 21st October 1966: Jacques Derrida or here

Jean-Pierre Vernant                 273      Greek Tragedy: Problems of Interpretation

289      Discussion

Nicolas Ruwet                                    296      Linguistics and Poetics

313      Discussion

Richard Macksey, René Girard, Jean Hyppolite           319      Concluding Remarks

Lucien Goldman                      323      Appendix I

Structure: réalité humaine et concept méthodologique

Jean Hyppolite                       335      Appendix II

Structure du langage philosophique d’après la “Préface de la phénoménologie de l’esprit” de Hegel

Jean-Pierre Vernant                 345      Appendix III

Le Moment historique de la tragédie en Gréce-essai d’interpretation

350      About the Participants

357      Colloquists

362      Sponsoring Committee

363      Index

Quote from the Preface (Donato & Macksey)

– p.ix (the first two paragraphs)

‘Les théories et les écoles, comme les microbes et les globules, s’entre-dévorent et assurent par leur lutte la continuité de la vie.’ Marcel Proust

The papers and discussions collected in this volume constitute the proceedings of the international symposium entitled “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man,” [“Les Langages Critiques et les Sciences de l’Homme”] enabled by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The sessions were convened under the auspices of the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center, during the week of October 18-21, 1966, when over one hundred humanists and social scientists from the United States and eight other countries gathered in Baltimore. The symposium inaugurated a two-year program of seminars and colloquia which sought to explore the impact of contemporary “structuralist” thought on critical methods in humanistic and social studies. The general title emphasized both the pluralism of the existing modes of discourse and the interaction of disciplines not entirely limited to the conventional rubric of the “humanities”.

By focusing the discussions on the structuralist phenomenon, the organizers were not seeking to promote a manifesto nor even to arrive at a fixed and unambiguous definition of structuralism itself. To many observers there seemed already to be too many manifestos, while satisfactory definitions of such polymorphic activities, or cultural events, are generally only achieved after the principals are safely dead. The danger was clearly that of deforming a method or a “family of methods” into a doctrine. The purpose of the meetings, rather, was to bring into an active and not uncritical contact leading European proponents of structural studies in a variety of disciplines with a wide spectrum of American scholars. It was hoped that this contact could in turn, stimulate innovations both in the received scholarship and in the training of scholars.

Quote from ‘About the Participants’ – p350 onwards

JE notes: These notes were correct in 1970. The list of publications, against each participant has been omitted.

Roland Barthes: is at present Directeur d’Études in the VIe Section of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, where he conducts seminars on “semio-criticism and the sociology of signs, symbols, and collective representations.” His early essays in ‘Combat’ were published in ‘Le Degré zero de l’écriture’, a landmark in contemporary criticism. He was also one of the founders of Théâtre Populaire and an early champion of Brecht in France. During the first term of 1967-68, he was a visiting professor at The Johns Hopkins University. He also participated in the Continuing Seminars under the Ford Grant.

Jacques Derrida: of the École Normale Supérieure did work on Edmund Husserl and has recently published remarkably influential essays on contemporary questions in methodology. He has recently joined The Johns Hopkins faculty.

Eugenio Donato:, one of the organizers of the Sumposium, has recently joined the faculty of the State University of New York in Buffalo. His training was in mathematics and Romance philology. He has published essays on Italian and French literature and on the methodology of the ‘sciences de l’homme’.

Neville Dyson-Hudson: is a faculty member of The Johns Hopkins University. He studied at Oxford under Evans-Pritchard.

René Girard is the former chairman of the Department of Romance Languages at The Johns Hopkins University and one of the organizers of the Symposium. He has written widely on topics in French literature and is currently concerned with the psychological and philosophical implications of the Oedipus myth.

Lucien Goldman:, Directeur d’Études in the VIe Section of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, and a member of the Institut de Sociologie (Brussels), is the author of ‘La Dieu caché’, a crucial book in developing his “structuralisme génétique.” He was visiting professor at Hopkins the first term of 1966-67.

Jean Hyppolite: was professor of the History of Philosophy at the Collège de France and former Director of the École Normale Supérieure.

Jacques Lacan:, the founder of l’École Freudienne de Paris, is one of the most seminal and controversial figures in contemporary French intellectual life. During his visit to Baltimore, he also lectured at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital. In 1970 his publications are given as

‘De la psychose paranoiaque dans ses rapports avec la personnalité’, Paris: Le François, 1932 : See ‘The Case of Aimée, or Self-punitive Paranoia’: Jacques Lacan: 1932 or here for some translations.

‘Écrits’, Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1966 : For translations see Écrits : 1966 : Jacques Lacan or here

‘The Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis’, translated by Anthony Wilden, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1968 : For availability see ‘The Language of the Self – The function of language in Psychoanalysis by Jacques Lacan’ : 1968 : Anthony Wilden or here

Richard Macksey: is the Acting Director of the Humanities Center and has published work in number theory, intellectual history, and hermeneutics, as well as poems and translations. He has been involved in filn-making and has written on the semiotics of the film, music and critical studies of Sterne, Darwin, Henry James, Rilke, Proust, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and Robbe-Grillet.

Charles Morazé: Secretary of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Charles Morazé is one of the founders of the VIe Section. He particpated in the Ford Continuing Seminars, exploring questions raised at the Symposium.

Georges Poulet:, former chairman of Romance Languages at Johns Hopkins, was until recently the Director of the Romanches Seminar at the Universität Zürich; he has just assumed the Chair at the Université de Nice.

Guy Rosolato: of the Clinique Delay, Paris, is a practicing psychoanalyst who has published widely both in psychoanalytical and iterary journals. He is a contributor to numerous volumes of ‘La Psychanalyse’. He also participated in the Ford Continuing Seminars.

Nicolas Ruwet: of the Fonds National Belge de la Recherche Scientifique is the French translator of Roman Jakobson. He has contributed important synthetic articles on structural linguistics, its methods, problems, and possible application to musicology. He was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967-68 and participated in the Ford Continuing Seminars. He will join The Johns Hopkins faculty in 1970.

Tzvetan Todorov: of the École Pratique des Hautes Études, participated in the Ford Continuing Seminars exploring questions raised at the symposium.

Jean-Pierre Vernant: is Directeur d’Études in the VIe Section of the École Pratique des Hautes Études. During 1967-68 he particpated in the Johns Hopkins Humanities Seminars (Interpretation: Theory and Practice) both in Baltimore and in Zürich.

Colloquists at the seminar

Henry David Aiken – Brandeis University

Peter Caws – Hunter College

Albert Cook – SUNY-Buffalo

Serge Doubrovsky – New York University

James M. Edie – Northwestern University

Jacques Ehrmann – Yale University

Norman N. Holland – SUNY-Buffalo

Roman Jakobson – Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of technology

Roger Kempf – Universität Zürich

Jan Knott – University of Warsaw and SUNY-Stony Brook

Jacob Loewenberg – University of California at Berkeley

Paul de Man – Zürich-Johns Hopkins

Carroll C. Pratt – Princeton University

Pietro Pucci – Cornell University

David M. Schneider – University of Chicago


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London


Further posts:

Some Lacanian history : here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Ethics here

Of the clinic : here

Translation Working Group here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

Or by Jacques Lacan : here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here