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The Adventure of French Philosophy by Alain Badiou and edited and translated, with an introduction by Bruno Bosteels (Verso Books) presents over forty years of French philosophy through the eyes of its greatest living exponent, Alain Badiou. Badiou teaches philosophy at the École normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics, Polemics, The Communist Hypothesis, Five Lessons on Wagner, and Wittgenstein's Anti-Philosophy. More

Living Consciousness: The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson by G. William Barnard (S U N Y Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology: New York State University Press) examines the brilliant, but now largely ignored, insights of French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941). Offering a detailed and accessible analysis of Bergson's thought, G. William Barnard highlights how Bergson's understanding of the nature of consciousness and, in particular, its relationship to the physical world remain strikingly relevant to numerous contemporary fields. These range from quantum physics and process thought to philosophy of mind, depth psychology, transpersonal theory, and religious studies. Bergson's notion of consciousness as a ceaselessly dynamic, inherently temporal substance of reality itself provides a vision that can function as a persuasive alternative to mechanistic and reductionistic understandings of consciousness and reality. Barnard closes the work with several "ruminations" or neo-Bergsonian responses to a series of vitally important questions such as: What does it mean to live consciously, authentically, and attuned to our inner depths? Is there a philosophically sophisticated way to claim that the survival of consciousness after physical death is not only possible but likely? More

Second Manifesto for Philosophy by Alain Badiou (Polity) Philosophy is everywhere today. But, twenty years ago, Alain Badiou's first Manifesto for Philosophy rose up against the all-pervasive proclamation of the end of philosophy. In lieu of this problematic of the end, he put forward the watchword: one more step.
The situation has considerably changed since then. Philosophy was threatened with obliteration at the time, today it finds itself under threat for the diametrically opposed reason: it is endowed with an excessive, artificial existence. It serves as a trademark for various media pundits. It has its magazines and its gurus. It is universally called upon, by everything from banks to major state commissions, to pronounce on ethics, law and duty. In essence, philosophy has now come to stand for nothing other than its most ancient enemy: conservative ethics. More 

The Cahiers/Notebooks of Paul Valéry are a unique form of writing. They reveal Valéry as one of the most radical and creative minds of the twentieth century, encompassing a wide range of investigation into all spheres of human activity. His work explores the arts, the sciences, philosophy, history and politics, investigating linguistic, psychological and social issues, all linked to the central questions, relentlessly posed: 'what is the human mind and how does it work?’, 'what is the potential of thought and what are its limits?' But we encounter here too, Valéry the writer: exploratory, fragmentary texts undermine the boundaries between analysis and creativity, between theory and practice. Neither journal nor diary, eluding the traditional genres of writing, the Notebooks offer lyrical passages, writing of extreme beauty, prose poems of extraordinary descriptive power alongside theoretical considerations of poetics, ironic aphorisms and the mast abstract kind of analysis. The concerns and the insights that occupied Valéry's inner voyages over more than 50 years remain as relevant as ever for the contemporary reader: for the Self that is his principal subject is at once singular and universal.

J Cahiers: Notebooks (Volume 1) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by Brian Stimpson, translations by Paul Gifford, Sian Miles, and Robert Pickering (Peter Lang)


Volume 1 introduces the enterprise of the Notebooks in its rigorously intellectual but also personal and affective dimension. Valéry's deep understanding of, and pertinence to, the limits of autobiographical presentation, which prefigure the most modem literary developments in this field, are here addressed. Writing is at once a form of ruthlessly honest self‑examination and a process of sublimation and self‑censorship. The quest for intellectual mastery through a highly complex system of mental training and conditioning is seen in the dynamic relation between the inner self and the external world. But at the same time the personal/existential dimension of Valéry's analysis of the self is reflected in the permanent and tragic struggle with the force of his own emotions. The acuity and intensity of the experience of love is paralleled by the sharpest edges of self-awareness in the quest for communion with the other.

Cahiers: Notebooks (Volume 2) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by Brian Stimpson, translations by Rachel Killick, Robert Pickering, Norma Rinsler, Stephen Romer, and Brian Stimpson (Peter Lang)


Volume 2 focuses upon the cultural, literary and artistic dimension of the writing, both as creative, lyrical inventiveness and as reflection upon the processes involved. Here we encounter the aesthetic function, as scriptural activity, perceiving eye, listening ear explore this domain via an inner self‑language surpassing the limits of genre or school. 'the great importance of his aesthetic insights reveals Valéry's status as a forerunner of the most modem artistic concepts, prefiguring critical movements and approaches to creativity decades before their subsequent realization. The Notebooks are seen as a field of continuous literary creativity and graphic experimentation in a context of untrammeled personal freedom, favoring the constitution of a very little known corpus of creative writing ‑ notably the prose poems and the micro‑fictions. This approach to the search for meaning is a dynamic process of constant generative power, which situates the Notebooks at the heart of the 20th century concept of the 'work in progress' and invites comparison with such exemplary exponents as Proust and Musil. 

Cahiers: Notebooks (Volume 3) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by Brian Stimpson, translations by Paul Gifford, Norm Rinsler, Stephen Romer, Brian Stimpson  (Peter Lang)


The understanding of mind is explored in volume 3 as linked indissolubly to a deepening reflection of the self's sensory and emotional responses and its link to its own past through the working of memory processes. Valéry's lifelong analytic fascination with dreams and dreaming runs parallel to that of Surrealism, which he fundamentally mistrusted, and of the development in France of Freud's insights, which he knew only at second hand, and often refuted violently. Yet Valéry is often closer than he thinks to the psychoanalytical explorations of the unconscious pursued by Freud and Lacan; and their insights in turn offer a fascinating counterpoint to his reworkings as thinker and as poet of the world of dream. This reflection differs greatly from the traditional view of Valéry as irrevocably asserting the primacy of the mind over the body and its responses; analysis of the functioning of the mind includes both its conscious and unconscious reflexes ‑ dream and imagination.  

Cahiers: Notebooks (Volume 4) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by Brian Stimpson, translations by Paul Gifford, Norm Rinsler, Stephen Romer, Brian Stimpson  (Peter Lang)


Fully reflective of some of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the twentieth century, volume 4 reveals Valéry as an important scientific thinker and epistemologist, engaged not only with issues of the internal mental world but with the external dimension of the Body‑Mind‑World coupling. His reflections upon language date from the earliest period when he sought a language freed from its arbitrary association with reality and capable of expressing pure analytical functions, his 'Arithmeticales Universals' or algebra of the mind. The notes offer an extraordinarily rich perspective on key areas of scientific progress: modern mathematics, atomic and quantum physics, relativity, the uncertainty principle, space‑time interrelationships. But man is seen too as an organism living in an often difficult relationship with his environment. The contribution of the Notebooks to the wider contexts of historical and socio­political problems is fundamental: not only a probing analyst of political power and action, Valéry here emerges as a radical educationalist and as a social scientist concerned with the betterment of society, including on the international level.

Cahiers: Notebooks (Volume 5) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by Brian Stimpson, translations by Paul Gifford, Norm Rinsler, Stephen Romer, Brian Stimpson  (Peter Lang)


Volume 5 addresses some of the most abstract issues in Valéry's project to 'make his mind' while linking back to many of the questions tackled in previous volumes. The 'System' is a theoretical extrapolation of the intensely personal experiences of the self. His attack on the intellectual patterns of traditional philosophy is linguistically motivated, and the creation of a whole new philosophical basis to experience is presented as a reinvigoration and revision of the way language relates to the world. New material included in this volume reveals a more positive approach to philosophy, and links emerge with the Vienna School, as well as the striking overlap with Wittgenstein. This volume demonstrates the importance of the dovetailing and unifying thrust towards the unknown of the self s affective, existential nature. The systematic rethinking of all theological discourses inherited from the European past reveals a search for a new spiritual identity and a radical reconfiguration of the notion of the 'divine' as a natural and necessary category of the mind. The supreme importance of a certain mystical resonance in Valéry, expressed in some of his most magnificent writing, complements the more scientific nature of volume 4, while leading us back to volume 1 through rich echoes with key themes of EROS.

Cahiers: Notebooks  (Volumes 1-5 set) by Paul Valéry, chief editor and translations by translations by Paul Gifford, Norm Rinsler, Stephen Romer, Brian Stimpson  (Peter Lang) the set of 5 volumes in English. More

Courageous Vulnerability: Ethics and Knowledge in Proust, Bergson, Marcel, and James by Rosa Slegers (Studies in Contemporary Phenomenology: Brill Academic Publishers) This work develops the ethical attitude of courageous vulnerability through the integration of Marcel Proust's novel In Search of Lost Time and the philosophies of Henri Bergson, William James, and Gabriel Marcel. Central to the discussion is the phenomenon of involuntary memory, taken from common experience but "discovered" and made visible by Proust. Through the connection between a variety of themes from both Continental and American schools of thought such as Bergson's phenomenological account of the artist, James' "will to believe," and Marcel's "creative fidelity," the courageously vulnerable individual is shown to take seriously the ethical implications of the knowledge gained from involuntary memories and similar "privileged moments," and do justice to the "something more" which, though part of our experience of ourselves and others, escapes rigid philosophical analysis. More

Badiou: A Philosophy of the New by Ed Pluth (Key Contemporary Thinkers Series: Polity) Alain Badiou is one of the leading philosophers in the world today. His ground-breaking philosophy is based on a creative reading of set theory, offering a new understanding of what it means to be human by promoting an intelligence of change. Badious philosophical system makes our capacity for revolution and novelty central to who we are and develops an ethical position that aims to make us less anxious about this very capacity.
Badiou presents an account of Badious philosophy, including an in-depth discussion of The Theory of the Subject, Being and Event and Logics of Worlds. Ed Pluth, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California State University, considers how Badious theoretical anti-humanism is linked up to what is, for all intents and purposes, a practical humanism. Central to this is an account of Badious theory of the subject, and his attempt to develop an ethic of truths. The role of set theory, Marxism, and Lacanian psychoanalysis in Badious philosophy is also given close attention. More

Critique of Everyday Life, Volume III: From Modernity to Modernism by Henri Lefebvre, translated by Michel Trebitsch (Towards a Metaphilosophy of Daily Life: Verso) Critique of Everyday Life, Volume II by Henri Lefebvre, Translated by John Moore (Verso) The more needs a human being has, the more he exists," quips Lefebvre in a savage critique of consumerist society, first published in 1947. The French philosopher, historian and Marxist sociologist, who died this summer at age 90, meditates on the dehumanization and ugliness smuggled into daily life under cover of purity, utility, beauty. He deconstructs leisure as a form of social control, spanks surrealism for its turning away from reality, and attempts to get past the "mystification" inherent in bourgeois life by analyzing Chaplin's films, Brecht's epic theater, peasant festivals, daydreams, Rimbaud and the rhythms of work and relaxation. Rejecting the inauthentic, which he perceives in a church service or in rote work from which one is alienated, Lefebvre nevertheless seeks to unearth the human potential that may be inherent in such rituals. More

Being and Event by Alain Badiou, translated by Oliver Feltham (Continuum International Publishing Group) Being and Event is the greatest work of Alain Badiou, France's most important living philosopher. Long-awaited in translation, Being and Event makes available to an English-speaking readership Badiou's groundbreaking work on set theory - the cornerstone of his whole philosophy. The book makes the scope and aim of Badiou's whole philosophical project clear, enabling full comprehension of Badiou's significance for contemporary philosophy. Badiou draws upon and is fully engaged with the European philosophical tradition from Plato onwards; Being and Event deals with such key figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel, Rousseau, Heidegger and Lacan.

This wide-ranging book is organized in a careful, precise and novel manner, reflecting the philosophical rigor of Badiou's thought. Unlike many contemporary Continental philosophers, Badiou -- who is also a novelist and dramatist - writes lucidly and cogently, making his work far more accessible and engaging than much philosophy, and actually a pleasure to read. This English language edition includes a new preface, written by Badiou himself, especially for this translation. More

The Deconstruction of Baudrillard: The "Unexpected Reversibility" of Discourse by Aleksandar S. Santrac (Problems in Contemporary Philosophy: Edwin Mellen Press) Jean Baudrillard is a unique, postmodernist philosopher, who developed amid controversies, directly in the contemporary postmodernism of his time and the most important tradition of modernism and premodernism, which, as counterpoints, actually define him. Postmodernism stresses that in the "meta-narratives" of philosophy, reason cannot satisfactorily resolve the existential problems of present-day mankind. Hence, the postmodernistic fundamental critique of rationalism, of progress, of truth, of systems, and metaphysics; the deconstruction of the meaning of the discourse and of metanarration; advocating positive fragmentariness and the plurality of effective "small narratives," "new linguistics," the end of History . . . and pataphysics — in Baudrillard one finds all these basic characteristics of postmodernist philosophy, according to which he is a traditional, postmodernistic author. More

Twentieth-Century French Philosophy: Key Themes and Thinkers by Alan D. Schrift (Blackwell Publishing) (Hardcover) To understand the evolution of recent French thought, both the philosophical debates and the figures behind them must be examined. This unique book addresses positions such as vitalism, neo-Kantianism, phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism, structuralism, and feminism, and provides concise biographies of the influential philosophers who shaped these movements, including entries on over eighty thinkers. The discussion and cross-referencing of ideas and figures, together with an appendix on the distinctive nature of French academic culture, provide readers with an unparalleled resource for coming to grips with recent French philosophy in a single engaging and concise text. More 

Understanding Derrida by Jack Reynolds, Jonathan Roffe (Continuum International Publishing Group) (Hardcover) Jacques Derrida continues to be the world's single most influential philosophical and literary theorist. He is also one of the most controversial and most complex. His own works and critical studies of his work proliferate, but where can a student, utterly new to the work of Derrida, start?

Understanding Derrida is written as an introduction to the full range of Derrida's key ideas and influences. It brings together the world's leading authorities on Derrida, each writing a short, accessible essay on one central aspect of his work.

Framed by a clear introduction and a complete bibliography of Derrida's publications in English, the essays systematically analyse one aspect of Derrida's work, each essay including a quick summary of Derrida's books which have addressed this theme, guiding the student towards a direct engagement with Derrida's texts.

The essays cover language, metaphysics, the subject, politics, ethics, the decision, translation, religion, psychoanalysis, literature, art, and Derrida's seminal relationship to other philosophers, namely Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Hegel and Nietzsche.

Excerpt: Derrida is not now, nor has he ever been, a philosopher in any recognizable sense of the word, nor even a trafficker in significant ideas; he is rather a intellectual con artist, a polysyllabic grifter who has duped roughly half the humanities professors in the United States into believing that postmodernism has an under-lying theoretical rationale. History will remember Derrida, and it surely will, not for what he himself has said but for what his revered status says about us. (Barry Smith, 30 January 2003, review of Derrida: The Movie, archived at http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/philos-l.html

Derridean deconstruction will have been the greatest ethico-political warning of our time. (Cixous, 1994). 

The above statements were made and signed by leading academics and philosophers throughout the world. Even if you are coming to the work of Derrida for the first time, the excessiveness embodied in these quotations is obvious. Why does the work of this Algerian-born philosopher induce such diametrically opposed views? To what kind of excesses is his work prey? Why do some see him as a latter day Socrates, and some as a veritable hemlock to thought? What is it, from the point of view of some Anglo-American analytic philosophers, that predisposes French writers to `semi-intelligibility' and a `lack of Anglo-Saxon rigor'?

This book does not attempt to answer any of these questions, or at least not in a direct way. Rather, it submits them all to a prior imperative: do not judge until you have read. Indeed, if there is one theme in Derrida's work that perennially returns, it is this imperative.

Derrida's work has been criticized for its refusal to propound an obvious thesis, or formulaic response, to many of the most enduring philosophical questions — the relationship of language to the world, the degree to which metaphysical presuppositions condition our ways of thinking, and also ethico-political issues pertaining to the possibility (and the impossibility) of responsibility, democracy, hospitality, immigration, and so forth. This is not because there is a conceptual black hole in Derrida's work that means that such issues are ignored. On the contrary, his work not only negotiates with all of these issues but it also problematizes them and resists simplification wherever possible. This means that he is a thinker who should be read in his own words. The task of reading Derrida should not be replaced by introductory texts that say `deconstruction says this', or `deconstruction prohibits that'. Of course, this kind of supplementary text will always be possible, and perhaps even necessary, but one problem with focusing upon such texts is that it lends itself to reductive accounts of deconstruction like some of those cited at the beginning of this introduction. When Derrida's own work is ignored, an un-sympathetic caricature of it is certainly much easier to establish.

Now there can be no doubt that this present volume also attempts to provide some kind of schematic outline for understanding deconstruction. Where this text differs from other introductory volumes is in its ongoing insistence on returning to Derrida's own writings. This is evident in the styles of the various essays contained in this volume and also in the annotated guide to further reading that accompanies each chapter. For example, at the end of the chapter on translation, many of the texts in which Derrida addresses the issue of translation are summarized so that the interested reader can pursue this single line of thought throughout Derrida's entire work. This book hence aims, above all, to facilitate access to Derrida's books themselves, and we think this is a means to a more detailed, exhaustive and correct interpretation of this important philosopher.

Our intent is not purely the negative one of trying to allow Derrida's own texts to speak for themselves against the caricatures of his work that abound. Rather, this book primarily addresses itself towards the many people who have an interest in what Derrida has said, having encountered some fragment or other of his work, or who have been puzzled by the prominence of his ideas without being familiar with them.

For those readers in this category, one obvious problem with attempting to read and understand Derrida's work more deeply is that he is amazingly prolific. He has written over 60 books that have been translated into English, not including the numerous as yet untranslated texts, and individual essays, that he has published. How can one negotiate this vast body of literature? Which texts of Derrida's are the important ones in trying to get an understanding of deconstruction? Anyone who has approached Derrida's books has had to deal with this problem.

Many philosophers often claim that Derrida's early work remains pivotal but this cannot be rigorously justified. As Derrida himself says, 'it is impossible to justify a point of departure absolutely'. Which texts are deemed important will depend upon the particular interests that the reader brings to bear upon Derrida's texts, and Derrîlla's texts vary widely in the content with which they are concerned, if not in their strategic `methodology'. While Derrida dislikes the concept of methodology because it assumes a stable distance between the observer and the observed, the frequently used term 'deconstruction' sums up his project. Deconstruction is not a simple rejection or negation of certain ideas in philosophy. Rather, as an initial definition and pointer, the strategy of deconstruction involves first the reversal, and then the disruption of traditional philosophical oppositions (LI 21). This double reading seeks the destabilization of philosophical positions and hierarchies in the hope of creating a new perspective.

Rather than trying to cover all of Derrida's work together, this book approaches his philosophy from a number of different perspectives, allowing the reader to find an entry point suited to their own interests.

A quick glance at the contents page of this volume will provide an outline of what this book offers by way of entry points. It introduces twelve main themes from Derrida's work: language, metaphysics, the subject, politics, ethics, the decision, translation, religion, psychoanalysis, literature, art, and Derrida's encounters with other philosophers who have been pivotal to his thought.

Each of these chapters deals thematically either with parts of Derrida's philosophy, or with the whole of it with an eye to one of his key concerns. David Roden's chapter on the subject is an example of the former: while subjectivity is not Derrida's perennial concern, he does deal with it quite substantially in a number of places. The chapter on ethics is an example of the latter: any careful reading of Derrida's work will discover various insistences that his work revolves around a certain, very specific, understanding of ethics, and this is the case even in very early books like Of Grammatology — this book was published in French in 1967, a watershed year for Derrida that also included the publication of Speech and Phenomena and Writing and Difference. There is also a third category of essays, which are the five `encounters' that conclude this book. Each of these briefly discusses one of Derrida's key engagements with other important philosophers who have shaped his work in an important and enduring way: Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, and Lévînas.

Many of the academics included here have been at the forefront of Derrida scholarship in English-speaking academic life since his work began to be translated in 1973. They have consistently shown themselves both careful readers and clear expositors of this sometimes serpentine, always rich and elusive, body of work.

Their contributions here are significant and lucid, and their desire to participate in this project has also reinforced the value of, and need for, such a book.

In addition to these short introductory articles, there are two other important features to this book. As mentioned earlier, the first is the inclusion at the end of each chapter of select bibliographies that list, and briefly summarize, some of the relevant texts in Derrida's oeuvre that deal with the theme in question. These will help the interested reader to know where to begin further reading, given their own thematic interests. Secondly, there is a thorough bibliography to Derrida's work in English at the end of the text. All of his main works are included, and all of the key collections of interviews, along with individual texts that we judged to be significant. The bibliographical details cited in Understanding Derrida all refer to the year of Derrida's various books and essays being translated into English, and not to the original year of French publication. As a rough guide, after publication in French, Derrida's early works took seven or eight years before being translated into English. These days it is more commonly a year or two and translation is sometimes even contemporaneous.

There is a sense in which these two aspects form the real heart of this book, which is intended, in the final analysis, to be something like a `users guide' to Derrida in English. There is no claim here that the essays included in this book provide a complete and total summary of Derrida's work; above all, as we have suggested, there is no way to replace actually reading his work. This book is meant to point out some of the larger paths that traverse, when considered together, a significant portion of Derrida's many interests. We trust that these essays are a helpful resource in navigating the difficult but rewarding territory of Derridean deconstruction. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we also hope that this book has been able to further extend the invitation that Derrida himself offers in his work: an invitation to philosophy.

Pensées by Blaise Pascal (Dover) unabridged republication of the W. F. Trotter transla­tion, as published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York, 1958. Introduction by T. S. Eliot. "I know of no religious writer more pertinent to our time." —T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Pensées

"Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true," declared Pascal in his Pensées. "The cure for this," he explained, "is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is."

Motivated by the seventeenth-century view of the supremacy of human reason, Pascal (1623-1662) had intended to write an ambitious apologia for Christianity, in which he argued the inability of reason to address metaphysical problems. His untimely death prevented the work's completion, but the fragments published posthumously in 1670 as Pensées remain a vital part of religious and philosophical lit­erature.

Essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and theology, the Pensées remain among the liveliest and most eloquent defenses of Christianity ever written.

Lexique mental et morphologie lexicale by Jean-Philippe Babin (Sciences pour la communication. Vol. 54: Peter Lang) L'orientation principale de ce livre concerne tes mots dits morphologiquement complexes, c'est ô dire qui présentent une structure potentiellement analysable en éléments mor­phologiques séparables. Afin de préciser le contexte de cet ouvrage, les premiers chapitres abordent les différents as­pects liés à la reconnaissance visuelle des mots écrits. Ainsi un certain nombre de modélisations du lexique mental est exposé. Les concepts généraux et les notions principales concernant le lexique mental sont énoncés ainsi que les caractéristiques des items lexicaux qui peuvent avoir une incidence sur leur mode d'accès et de représentation au sein du lexique mental. L'intérêt pour le rôle de la structure morphologique dans l'accès au lexique mental et sur le format représentalionnel est important et se traduit par une littérature abondante. On distingue les mots composés, les mots fléchis et les mots dérivés, préfixés et suffixés. Au travers d'un ensemble de résultats aussi représentatif que possible de la littérature sur ce sujet, sont abordées la façon dont ces mots sont traités et la façon dont ils sont stockés dans le lexique mental. Les différentes techniques expérimentales les plus usuelles sont décrites et discutées relativement a ces aspects. Les différentes hypothèses sont exposées et con­frontées, une synthèse des différents résultats est énoncée.

La lecture et la compréhension des mots d'une langue donnée apparaissent comme une activité tout à fait naturelle pour la plupart des utilisateurs de cette langue. En effet, lorsque les bases de la lecture sont acquises, chacun est en mesure d'analyser et de comprendre les mots, les phrases et les textes de sa langue maternelle. Pourtant, cette activité apparemment simple et banale nécessite la mise en place de connaissances et de processus qui constituent un ensemble relativement complexe. Il faut, d'une part, pour réaliser cette tâche, posséder un système capable de reconnaître les séquences de lettres qui sont visuellement présentées et être en mesure de les interpréter. D'autre part, pour comprendre les mots de cette langue, il faut posséder pour chaque mot écrit un correspondant mental, un ensemble de représentations, capable de fournir entre autres, mais surtout, le sens de ce mot. L'ensemble de ces représentations mentales constitue ce qui est communément appelé le lexique mental.

Ce livre se propose d'aborder la reconnaissance visuelle des mots écrits avec pour principale orientation le rôle de la morphologie lexicale tant au niveau du traitement lexical qu'au niveau de la représentation lexicale.

Dans un premier chapitre sont abordés les notions et les concepts généraux relatifs à la reconnaissance visuelle des mots écrits. Dans un souci de compréhension des mécanismes en jeu lors de la reconnaissance d'un mot, il est important de connaître la façon dont l'information lexicale est stockée et comment elle peut être récupérée. Autrement dit, il est aussi nécessaire de s'intéresser aux processus qui rendent cette information disponible. Ceci renvoie à la notion d'accès au lexique mental. Ce chapitre présente une définition du lexique mental ainsi qu'un certain nombre de modèles relatifs à l'accès au lexique.

Dans un second chapitre les caractéristiques des items lexicaux sont abordées du point de vue de l'accès au lexique mental. En effet, les mots que nous utilisons possèdent des caractéristiques qui les rendent plus ou moins facilement identifiables (longueur, fréquence...). Ces variables sont d'une importance considérable et leur contrôle est nécessaire dans une approche expérimentale.

Le troisième chapitre a pour objet les unités par lesquelles le système de reconnaissance entre en action: les codes d'accès au lexique mental.

Ces unités, dans leur définition sont source de divergences théoriques qui sont ici exposées.

Après ces chapitres traitant à un niveau général de la reconnaissance visuelle des mots écrits, un domaine particulier est abordé dans le quatrième chapitre: la morphologie lexicale. Il s'agit ici de définir ce que l'on appelle une structure morphologiquement complexe selon une approche linguistique. L'objectif est aussi de présenter l'utilité de cette définition dans une perspective psycholinguistique. L'intérêt principal se porte donc sur les relations qui peuvent exister entre une structure morphologiquement complexe (linguistiquement définie) et les traitements lexicaux réalisés sur ces mots lors de leur reconnaissance (aspect psychologique). En effet, il est envisageable que les lecteurs n'utilisent pas forcément toutes les informations linguistiques que possèdent les mots. La structure morphologique représente l'une de ces informations.

Le cinquième chapitre présente un ensemble de méthodologies qui sont utilisées principalement dans le domaine des recherches sur le lexique mental. Pour tester expérimentalement le rôle d'un facteur donné, il faut se donner les moyens techniques d'y parvenir. Ainsi, au fil des années et selon les besoins, différentes méthodologies expérimentales sont apparues qui présentent chacune des particularités. Ces différentes méthodologies expérimentales sont ici abordées d'un point de vue critique.

Le sixième et le septième chapitre abordent de façon plus spécifique le rôle de la morphologie lexicale dans les processus de l'accès au lexique et dans le mode de représentation lexicale des items morphologiquement complexes. La littérature psycholinguistique, très importante, concernant ces procédures et ces représentations n'est pas unanime et de nombreux débats et controverses sont apparus et subsistent. Une synthèse aussi représentative que possible des théories et des travaux est présentée dans le sixième chapitre en ce qui concerne l'accès au lexique des mots morphologiquement complexes.

Le septième chapitre a pour objet le format représentationnel des mots morphologiquement complexes à travers un exposé des théories et des nombreux résultats expérimentaux obtenus dans ce domaine.

Cet ouvrage se propose donc de faire un tour d'horizon des différentes théories élaborées sur le rôle de la structure morphologique des mots ainsi que des nombreux résultats expérimentaux obtenus dans ce domaine de recherche. 

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