Questioning the idea of ‘founding text’

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The notion of ‘founding text’ is an uneasy one for the history of sciences where it always refers to an après-coup construction. This paper aims to disentangle the threads of this aftermath effect in the case of Harris’s text, Discourse Analysis, published in 1952, which became a founding text for French Discourse Analysis in the late 1960s. Two trends will be examined, Jean Dubois’ and Michel Pêcheux’s, who constructed two different versions of the notion of founding text. Furthermore, this research should contribute to the study of Harris’s reception in France, and to the specificity of his reception.


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