Professor Hilary Putnam has been one of the most influential and sharply original of recent American philosophers in a whole range of fields. His most important published work is collected here, together with several new and substantial studies, in two volumes. The first deals with the philosophy of mathematics and of science and the nature of philosophical and scientific enquiry; the second deals with the philosophy of language and mind. Volume one is now issued in a new edition, including (...) an essay on the philosophy of logic first published in 1971. (shrink)
In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the (...) William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published. (shrink)
From Sources of the Self to A Secular Age, Charles Taylor has shown how we create ways of being, as individuals and as a society. Here, he demonstrates that language is at the center of this generative process. Language does not merely describe; it constitutes meaning, and the shared practice of speech shapes human experience.
Language and the birth of "literature." A preface to transgression. Language to infinity. The father's "no." Fantasia of the library.--Counter-memory: the philosophy of difference. What is an author? Nietzsche, genealogy, history. Theatrum philosophicum.--Practice: knowledge and power. History of systems of thought. Intellectuals and power. Revolutionary action: "until now.".
Herbert Clark argues that language use is more than the sum of a speaker speaking and a listener listening. It is the joint action that emerges when speakers and listeners, writers and readers perform their individual actions in coordination, as ensembles. In contrast to work within the cognitive sciences, which has seen language use as an individual process, and to work within the social sciences, which has seen it as a social process, the author argues strongly that (...) class='Hi'>language use embodies both individual and social processes. (shrink)
Introduction: How hard is the "hard core" of a scientific program? / Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini -- pt. 1. The debate: 1. Opening the debate: The psychogenesis of knowledge and its epistemological significance / Jean Piaget -- On cognitive structures and their development: a reply to Piaget / Noam Chomsky -- 2. About the fixed nucleus and its innateness: Introductory remarks / Jean Piaget -- Cognitive strategies in problem solving / Guy Cellerier -- Some clarifications on innatism and constructivism / Guy Cellerier (...) -- 3. Artificial intelligence and general development mechanisms: The role of artificial intelligence in psychology / Seymour Papert -- 4. Initial states and steady states: The linguistic approach / Noam Chomsky -- 5. Cognitive schemes and their possible relations to language acquisition: Language and knowledge in a constructivist framework / Bäé́ Thom -- Appendix C: Localist hypothesis and theory of catastrophes: note on the debate / Jean Petitot. (shrink)
Ruth Millikan is well known for having developed a strikingly original way for philosophers to seek understanding of mind and language, which she sees as biological phenomena. She now draws together a series of groundbreaking essays which set out her approach to language. Guiding the work of most linguists and philosophers of language today is the assumption that language is governed by prescriptive normative rules. Millikan offers a fundamentally different way of viewing the partial regularities that (...)language displays, comparing them to biological norms that emerge from natural selection. This yields novel and quite radical consequences for our understanding of the nature of public linguistic meaning, the process of language understanding, how children learn language, and the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
Completely revised and updated in its Second Edition, _Language and Reality_ provides students, philosophers and cognitive scientists with a lucid and provocative introduction to the philosophy of language.
In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the (...) sentence or belief represents it. These are truth conditions of the sentence or belief. But meanings and representational contents are not truth conditions, and there is more to propositions than representational content. In addition to imposing conditions the world must satisfy if it is to be true, a proposition may also impose conditions on minds that entertain it. The study of mind and language cannot advance further without a conception of propositions that allows them to have contents of both of these sorts. Soames provides it. He does so by arguing that propositions are repeatable, purely representational cognitive acts or operations that represent the world as being a certain way, while requiring minds that perform them to satisfy certain cognitive conditions. Because they have these two types of content—one facing the world and one facing the mind—pairs of propositions can be representationally identical but cognitively distinct. Using this breakthrough, Soames offers new solutions to several of the most perplexing problems in the philosophy of language and mind. (shrink)
This book analyzes the uses of emotive language and redefinitions from pragmatic, dialectical, epistemic and rhetorical perspectives, investigating the relationship between emotions, persuasion and meaning, and focusing on the implicit dimension of the use of a word and its dialectical effects. It offers a method for evaluating the persuasive and manipulative uses of emotive language in ordinary and political discourse. Through the analysis of political speeches and legal arguments, the book offers a systematic study of emotive language (...) in argumentation, rhetoric, communication, political science and public speaking. (shrink)
Bad Language is the first textbook on an emerging area in the study of language: non-idealized language use, the linguistic behaviour of people who exploit language for malign purposes. This lively, accessible introduction offers theoretical frameworks for thinking about such topics as lies and bullshit, slurs and insults, coercion and silencing.
Berkeley's philosophy is meant to be a defense of commonsense. However, Berkeley's claim that the ultimate constituents of physical reality are fleeting, causally passive ideas appears to be radically at odds with commonsense. In particular, such a theory seems unable to account for the robust structure which commonsense (and Newtonian physics) takes the world to exhibit. The problem of structure, as I understand it, includes the problem of how qualities can be grouped by their co-occurrence in a single enduring object (...) and how these enduring objects can bear spatiotemporal, causal, and other relations to one another. I argue that Berkeley's solution to these problems lies in his views about language. At one level, human language allows us to exploit patterns in our perceptions to construct a highly structured representation of the physical world which allows us to make accurate predictions at minimal cognitive expense. At a deeper level, these patterns occur in perception because our perceptions themselves form a language in which God speaks to us. (shrink)
This book offers a defense of the tensed theory of time, a critique of the New Theory of Reference, and an argument that simultaneity is absolute. Although Smith rejects ordinary language philosophy, he shows how it is possible to argue from the nature of language to the nature of reality. Specifically, he argues that semantic properties of tensed sentences are best explained by the hypothesis that they ascribe to events temporal properties of futurity, presentness, or pastness and do (...) not merely ascribe relations of earlier than or simultaneity. He criticizes the New Theory of Reference, which holds that "now" refers directly to a time and does not ascribe the property of presentness. Smith does not adopt the old or Fregean theory of reference but develops a third alternative, based on his detailed theory of de re and de dicto propositions and a theory of cognitive significance. He concludes the book with a lengthy critique of Einstein's theory of time. Smith offers a positive argument for absolute simultaneity based on his theory that all propositions exist in time. He shows how Einstein's relativist temporal concepts are reducible to a conjunction of absolutist temporal concepts and relativist nontemporal concepts of the observable behavior of light rays, rigid bodies, and the like. (shrink)
Herman Cappelen investigates how language and other representational devices can go wrong, and how to fix them. We use language to understand and talk about the world, but what if our language has deficiencies that prevent it from playing that role? How can we revise our concepts, and what are the limits on revision?
Quentin Smith offers powerful arguments against the New Theory of Reference propounded by leading thhinkers in the philosophy of language. Smith defends the tensed theory of time and argues that the simultaneity is absoltue, basing this position on the theory that all propositions exist in time. Using detailed propostitions and a theory of cognitive significance, he introduces an alternative interpretation of reference that will be relevant to metaphysicians, philosophers of science and philosophers of language and may come to (...) be recognised as the definitive statement on the tensed theory of time. (shrink)
Truth, Language, and History is the much-anticipated final volume of Donald Davidson's philosophical writings. In four groups of essays, Davidson continues to explore the themes that occupied him for more than fifty years: the relations between language and the world; speaker intention and linguistic meaning; language and mind; mind and body; mind and world; mind and other minds. He asks: what is the role of the concept of truth in these explorations? And, can a scientific world view (...) make room for human thought without reducing it to something material and mechanistic? Including a new introduction by his widow, Marcia Cavell, this volume completes Donald Davidson's colossal intellectual legacy. (shrink)
According to Bickerton, the behavioral sciences have failed to give an adequate account of human nature at least partly because of the conjunction and mutual reinforcement of two widespread beliefs: that language is simply a means of communication and that human intelligence is the result of the rapid growth and unusual size of human brains. Bickerton argues that each of the properties distinguishing human intelligence and consciousness from that of other animals can be shown to derive straightforwardly from properties (...) of language. In essence, language arose as a representational system, not a means of communication or a skill, and not a product of culture but an evolutionary adaptation. The author stresses the necessity of viewing intelligence in evolutionary terms, seeing it not as problem solving but as a way of maintaining homeostasis - the preservation of those conditions most favorable to an organism, the optimal achievable conditions for survival and well-being. The term protolanguage is used to describe the stringing together of symbols that prehuman hominids employed. "It did not allow them to turn today's imagination into tomorrow's fact. But it is just this power to transform imagination into fact that distinguishes human behavior from that of our ancestral species, and indeed from that of all other species. It is exactly what enables us to change our behavior, or invent vast ranges of new behavior, practically overnight, with no concomitant genetic changes." Language and Human Behavior should be of interest to anyone in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences and to all those concerned with the role of language in human behavior. (shrink)
This book considers how language can be appropriately theorized as both a natural and cultural phenomenon. In reaching his conclusion, Pateman draws on a wide range of work in linguistics, philosophy, and social theory, and argues in defense of Chomsky and against Wittgenstein, all within the framework of a realist philosophy of science and contemporary social theory.
This is the third edition of Chomsky's outstanding collection of essays on language and mind, first published in 2006. The first six chapters, originally published in the 1960s, made a groundbreaking contribution to linguistic theory. This edition complements them with an additional chapter and a new preface, bringing Chomsky's influential approach into the twenty-first century. Chapters 1-6 present Chomsky's early work on the nature and acquisition of language as a genetically endowed, biological system, through the rules and principles (...) of which we acquire an internalized knowledge. Over the past fifty years, this framework has sparked an explosion of inquiry into a wide range of languages, and has yielded some major theoretical questions. The final chapter revisits the key issues, reviewing the 'biolinguistic' approach that has guided Chomsky's work from its origins to the present day, and raising some novel and exciting challenges for the study of language and mind. (shrink)
The chapters in this timely volume aim to answer the growing interest in Arthur Schopenhauer’s logic, mathematics, and philosophy of language by comprehensively exploring his work on mathematical evidence, logic diagrams, and problems of semantics. Thus, this work addresses the lack of research on these subjects in the context of Schopenhauer’s oeuvre by exposing their links to modern research areas, such as the “proof without words” movement, analytic philosophy and diagrammatic reasoning, demonstrating its continued relevance to current discourse on (...) logic. -/- Beginning with Schopenhauer’s philosophy of language, the chapters examine the individual aspects of his semantics, semiotics, translation theory, language criticism, and communication theory. Additionally, Schopenhauer’s anticipation of modern contextualism is analyzed. The second section then addresses his logic, examining proof theory, metalogic, system of natural deduction, conversion theory, logical geometry, and the history of logic. Special focus is given to the role of the Euler diagrams used frequently in his lectures and their significance to broader context of his logic. In the final section, chapters discuss Schopenhauer’s philosophy of mathematics while synthesizing all topics from the previous sections, emphasizing the relationship between intuition and concept. -/- Aimed at a variety of academics, including researchers of Schopenhauer, philosophers, historians, logicians, mathematicians, and linguists, this title serves as a unique and vital resource for those interested in expanding their knowledge of Schopenhauer’s work as it relates to modern mathematical and logical study. (shrink)
Michael Dummett is a leading contemporary philosopher whose work on the logic and metaphysics of language has had a lasting influence on how these subjects are conceived and discussed. This volume contains some of the most provocative and widely discussed essays published in the last fifteen years, together with a number of unpublished or inaccessible writings. Essays included are: "What is a Theory of Meaning?," "What do I Know When I Know a Language?," "What Does the Appeal to (...) Use Do for the Theory of Meaning?," "Language and Truth," "Truth and Meaning," "Language and Communication," "The Source of the Concept of Truth," "Mood, Force, and Convention," "Frege and Husserl on Reference," "Realism," "Existence," "Does Quantification Involve Identity?," "Could there be Unicorns?," "Causal Loops," "Common Sense and Physics," "Testimony and Memory," "What is Mathematics About?," "Wittgenstein on Necessity: Some Reflections," and "Realism and Anti-Realism." Serving well as a companion to Dummett's other collections, the essays in this volume are not forbiddingly technical or specialized, and have relevance to many areas of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Disillusionment with psychology is leading more and more people to formal philosophy for clues about how to think about life. But most of us who try to grapple with concepts such as reality, truth, common sense, consciousness, and society lack the rigorous training to discuss them with any confidence. John Searle brings these notions down from their abstract heights to the terra firma of real-world understanding, so that those with no knowledge of philosophy can understand how these principles play out (...) in our everyday lives. The author stresses that there is a real world out there to deal with, and condemns the belief that the reality of our world is dependent on our perception of it. (shrink)
Language Turned on Itself examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various metalinguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early: kids are told, 'That's called a "rabbit"'. It's not implausible that a primitive capacity for the meta-linguistic kicks in at the beginning stages of language acquisition. But no matter when or how frequently these (...) devices are invoked, one thing is clear: they present theorists of language with a complex data pattern. Herman Cappelen and Ernest Lepore show that the study of these devices and patterns not only represents an interesting and neglected project in the philosophy of language, but also carries important consequences for other parts of philosophy. Part I is devoted to presenting data about various aspects of our metalinguistic practices. In Part II, the authors examine and reject the four leading metalinguistic theories, and offer a new account of our use of quotation in a variety of different contexts. But the primary goal of this book is not to promote one theory over another. Rather, it is to present a deeply puzzling set of problems and explain their significance. (shrink)
In this exciting new collection, a distinguished international group of philosophers contribute new essays on central issues in philosophy of language and logic, in honor of Michael Dummett, one of the most influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. The essays are focused on areas particularly associated with Professor Dummett. Five are contributions to the philosophy of language, addressing in particular the nature of truth and meaning and the relation between language and thought. Two contributors discuss time, (...) in particular the reality of the past. The last four essays focus on Frege and the philosophy of mathematics. The volume represents some of the best work in contemporary analytical philosophy. (shrink)
Do we think in natural language? Or is language only for communication? Much recent work in philosophy and cognitive science assumes the latter. In contrast, Peter Carruthers argues that much of human conscious thinking is conducted in the medium of natural language sentences. However, this does not commit him to any sort of Whorfian linguistic relativism, and the view is developed within a framework that is broadly nativist and modularist. His study will be essential reading for all (...) those interested in the nature and significance of natural language, whether they come from philosophy, psychology or linguistics. (shrink)
The book builds on recent work in pragmatics and speech-act theory to explain how, and to what extent, legal content is determined by linguistic considerations. At the same time, the analysis shows that some of the unique features of communication in the legal domain - in particular, its strategic nature - can be employed to put pressure on certain assumptions in philosophy of language. This enables a more nuanced picture of how semantic and pragmatic determinants of communication work in (...) complex and large-scale systems such as law. (shrink)
This book is a major contribution to the understanding of Heidegger and a rare attempt to bridge the schism between traditions of analytic and Continental philosophy. Cristina Lafont applies the core methodology of analytic philosophy, language analysis, to Heidegger's work providing both a clearer exegesis and a powerful critique of his approach to the subject of language. In Part One, she explores the Heideggerean conception of language in depth. In Part Two, she draws on recent work from (...) theorists of direct reference (Putnam, Donnellan and Kripke inter alia) to reveal the limitations of Heidegger's views and to show how language shapes our understanding of the world without making learning impossible. The book first appeared in German but has been substantially revised for the English edition. (shrink)
This volume puts forward a distinct new theory of direct reference, blending insights from both the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and fitting the general theory of language understanding used by those working on the pragmatics of natural language.
I-Language introduces the uninitiated to linguistics as cognitive science. In an engaging, down-to-earth style Daniela Isac and Charles Reiss give a crystal-clear demonstration of the application of the scientific method in linguistic theory. Their presentation of the research programme inspired and led by Noam Chomsky shows how the focus of theory and research in linguistics shifted from treating language as a disembodied, human-external entity to cognitive biolinguistics - the study of language as a human cognitive system embedded (...) within the mind/brain of each individual. The recurring theme of equivalence classes in linguistic computation ties together the presentation of material from phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The same theme is used to help students understand the place of linguistics in the broader context of the cognitive sciences, by drawing on examples from vision, audition, and even animal cognition.This textbook is unique in its integration of empirical issues of linguistic analysis, engagement with philosophical questions that arise in the study of language, and treatment of the history of the field. Topics ranging from allophony to reduplication, ergativity, and negative polarity are invoked to show the implications of findings in cognitive biolinguistics for philosophical issues like reference, the mind-body problem, and nature-nurture debates.This textbook contains numerous exercises and guides for further reading as well as ideas for student projects. A companion website with guidance for instructors and answers to the exercises features a series of pdf slide presentations to accompany the teaching of each topic. (shrink)