Linguistics as a Theory of Knowledge

Jesus Martinez del Castillo


A theory of knowledge is the explanation of things in terms of the possibilities and capabilities of the human way of knowing. The human knowledge is the representation of the things apprehended sensitively either through the senses or intuition. A theory of knowledge concludes about the reality of the things studied. As such it is a priori speculation, based on synthetic a priori statements. Its conclusions constitute interpretation, that is, hermeneutics. Linguistics as the science studying real language, that is, the language spoken, reverts to human subjects in as much as they speak, say and know. Language thus must be studied as a theory of knowledge.

This article deals with the study of language as the human activity of speaking, saying and knowing. It analyzes the possibilities of a scientific theory, its characteristics and pre-requisites to see if language can be studied. The fact of language reverting to the individual speaking subject makes linguists to consider the peculiarities of language study as a human science. Since human subjects are free, creative and absolute, human facts cannot be but interpreted. This article concludes about the character of linguistics and the key points it must study and be based on.

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