Famous Quotes & Sayings

Mark John Thompson Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 1 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Mark John Thompson.

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Mark John Thompson Quotes 1347462

In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides adduces a change in language as a major factor in Athens's descent from dysfunctional democracy through demagoguery into tyranny and anarchy: people began to define things in any way they pleased, he says, and the "normally accepted meaning of words" broke down. In his account of the Catiline crisis in republican Rome, Sallust has Cato the Younger identify the misuse of language - specifically the scission of word and meaning - as the underlying cause of the threat to the state. Society, Cato says, has lost the "vera vocabula rerum," literally, the "true names of things."18 In seventeenth-century England, Thomas Hobbes lived through a civil war he believed had been caused in significant measure by a war of words about religion - spread through the pervasive pamphleteering that printing had made possible - that had fatally weakened the linguistic common ground on which an ordered state depends. — Mark John Thompson