Wilhelm von Humboldt dedicated himself to the comparative studies of languages and engaged in Immanuel Kant's metaphysics for the theorization of linguistic phenomena. According to Kant, truth is constituted on the conformity between representation and the thing-in-itself. Humboldt states that representation is language - the mother tongue, more precisely; according to him, no thought may ever occur outside the embodiment in linguistic forms. In this Doctoral project the thesis will be "how does Humboldt theorizes linguistic construction as representation?" I will investigate the scope of humboldtian philosophy that speculates about linguistic creation inside the limits of a biological organism and its intellectual faculties, which were considered by Kant to be innate: i) the production of sound-forms (Lautform) and of words by kantian mental faculties and their categories; ii) the correlation between representation and the definition of language as constant generative activity (energeia); iii) intellectual and cultural cultivation (Bildung) and the world-views (Weltansichten) as collective representation phenomena. The object under my scrutiny will be both the corpus and the main results of this investigation: the major work "On the diversity of linguistic construction and its influence on the spiritual development of human species" (Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechts) will be analyzed and unprecedentedly translated to Portuguese Language. The main goal is to promote a wide reception in lusophone countries of this philosopher of language, who proposed a Neo-Kantian model in the field of language studies and whose work was reference for important thinkers of the 20th century, such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Noam Chomsky, Mikhail Bakhtin and Valentin Voloshinov.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: