In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a whole. The first (...) part of the book describes how philosophers from Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions, possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and other aspects of language use. An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of its most important practitioners, this book will be essential reading for all serious students of philosophy. (shrink)
A typical device in film is to have a character narrating what is going on, but this narration is not always a reliable guide to the events. According to Maier, distortions may be caused by the narrator’s intent, naivety, use of drugs, and/or cognitive disorder/illness. What is common to these various causes, he argues, is the presence of a point of view, which appears in a movie as shots. While this perspective-based account of unreliability covers most cases, I unpack its (...) methodological consequences and gesture at a possibility that Maier’s analysis overlooks. A narration, I suggest, can be unreliable simply because it is ill-timed with the events shown on screen. In such a case, the distortion is not due to any character’s point of view; rather, it comes from the film medium’s ability to divorce what is seen and what is heard. As a consequence of this mismatch, it is possible to have a reliable narrator but an unreliable narration. Since voice and context of utterance usually match in ordinary speech, I conclude that philosophy of language may be ill-suited to properly understand this particular phenomenon. (shrink)
In the Twentieth Century, Logic and Philosophy of Language are two of the few areas of philosophy in which philosophers made indisputable progress. For example, even now many of the foremost living ethicists present their theories as somewhat more explicit versions of the ideas of Kant, Mill, or Aristotle. In contrast, it would be patently absurd for a contemporary philosopher of language or logician to think of herself as working in the shadow of any figure who (...) died before the Twentieth Century began. Advances in these disciplines make even the most unaccomplished of its practitioners vastly more sophisticated than Kant. There were previous periods in which the problems of language and logic were studied extensively (e.g. the medieval period). But from the perspective of the progress made in the last 120 years, previous work is at most a source of interesting data or occasional insight. All systematic theorizing about content that meets contemporary standards of rigor has been done subsequently. (shrink)
"Eco wittily and enchantingly develops themes often touched on in his previous works, but he delves deeper into their complex nature... this collection can be read with pleasure by those unversed in semiotic theory." —Times Literary Supplement.
This study looks to the work of Tarski's mentors Stanislaw Lesniewski and Tadeusz Kotarbinski, and reconsiders all of the major issues in Tarski scholarship in light of the conception of Intuitionistic Formalism developed: semantics, truth, paradox, logical consequence.
What do ‘meaning’ and ‘truth’ mean? And how are they situated in the concrete practices of linguistic communication? What is the relationship between words and the world? How—with words—can people do such varied things as marry, inaugurate a president, and declare a country’s independence? How is language able to express knowledge, belief, and other mental states? What are metaphors and how do they work? Is a mathematically rigorous account of language possible? Does language make women invisible and (...) encode a male worldview? These are the kind of questions that have been addressed by philosophers of language since ancient times. Interest in the subject stretches back to the beginnings of western philosophy . Interest in the philosophy of language has also been enduring—and has blossomed anew in the past century. This new title in the Routledge series, Critical Concepts in Philosophy, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of the subject’s vast literature and the continuing explosion in research output. Edited by A. P. Martinich, one of the subdiscipline’s leading scholars, this collection brings together in four volumes the canonical and the very best cutting-edge scholarship in the field to provide a synoptic view of all the key issues, figures, concepts, and current debates. With comprehensive introductions to each volume, newly written by the editor, which place the collected material in its historical and intellectual context, Philosophy of Language is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by philosophers and linguists—as well as psychologists and cognitive scientists working on language—as a vital research resource. (shrink)
This book deals with the philosophy of language and with what is at issue in the philosophy of language. Due to its intensity and diversity, the philosophy of language has attained the position of first philosophy in this century. To show this is the task of Part Two. But the task can be accomplished only if it is first made clear how language came to be a problem in and for philosophy (...) and how this development has influ enced and has failed to influence our understanding of language. This is done in Part One. What is at issue in the philosophy of language today is the question regarding the source of meaning. More precisely the question is whether we have access to such a source. Again Part One presents the necessary foil for Part Two in showing how meaning was thought to originate in Western history and how the rise of the philosophy of language and the eclipse of the origin of meaning occurred jointly. Today the question of meaning has come to a peculiarly elaborate and fruitful issue in the philosophy of language, and the fate of the philosophy of language is bound up with the future possibilities of meaning. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Language_ introduces the student to the main issues and theories in twentieth-century philosophy of language. Topics are structured in three parts in the book. Part I, Reference and Referring Expressions, includes topics such as Russell's Theory of Desciptions, Donnellan's distinction, problems of anaphora, the description theory of proper names, Searle's cluster theory, and the causal-historical theory. Part II, Theories of Meaning, surveys the competing theories of linguistic meaning and compares their various advantages and liabilities. Part III, (...) Pragmatics and Speech Acts, introduces the basic concepts of linguistic pragmatics, includes a detailed discussion of the problem of indirect force and surveys approaches to metaphor. Unique features of the text: * chapter overviews and summaries * clear supportive examples * study questions * annotated further reading * glossary. (shrink)
This book is an introduction to and interpretation of the philosophy of language devised by Donald Davidson over the past 25 years. The guiding intuition is that Davidson's work is best understood as an ongoing attempt to purge semantics of theoretical reifications. Seen in this light the recent attack on the notion of language itself emerges as a natural development of his Quinian scepticism towards "meanings" and his rejections of reference-based semantic theories. Linguistic understanding is, for Davidson, (...) essentially dynamic, arising only through a continuous process of theory construction and reconstruction. The result is a conception of semantics in which the notion of interpretation and not the notion of knowing a language is fundamental. In the course of his book Bjorn Ramberg provides a critical discussion of reference-based semantic theories, challenging the standard accounts of the principle of charity and elucidating the notion of radical interpretation. The final chapter on incommensurability ties in with the discussions of Kuhn's work in the philosophy of science and suggests certain links between Davidson's analytic semantics and hermeneutic theory. (shrink)
Philosophy of language has been at the center of philosophical research at least since the start of the 20th century. But till now there has been no regular forum for outstanding original work in this area. That is what Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language offers.
One of the most important students of Franz Brentano was Anton Marty, who made it his task to develop a philosophy of language on the basis of Brentano’s analysis of mind. It is most unfortunate that Marty does not receive the attention he deserves, primarily due to his detailed and distracting polemics. In the analysis presented here his philosophy of language and other aspects of his thought, such as his ontology , are examined first and foremost (...) in their positive rather than critical character. The analysis is moreover supplemented by translations of four important works by Marty, including his entire work On the Origin of Language. These are in fact the first English translations of any substantial writings by him. The resulting picture that emerges from the analysis and translations is that Marty has much to say that proves to be of enduring interest for the philosophy of language on a range of topics, especially the meanings of statements, of emotive expressions, and of names as regards both their communicative and their ontological aspects. The volume will be of interest not only to philosophers and historians of philosophy, but also to historians of linguistics and psychology. (shrink)
Philosophy of language explores some of the fundamental yet most technical problems in philosophy, such as meaning and reference, semantics, and propositional attitudes. Some of its greatest exponents, including Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell are amongst the major figures in the history of philosophy. In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics: the basic nature of philosophy of language and its historical development early (...) arguments concerning the role of meaning, including cognitive meaning vs expressivism, context and compositionality Frege’s arguments concerning sense and reference; non-existent objects Russell and the theory of definite descriptions modern theories including Kripke and Putnam; arguments concerning necessity, analyticity and natural kind terms indexicality, context and modality. What are indexicals? Davidson’s theory of language and the ‘principle of charity’ propositional attitudes Quine’s naturalism and its consequences for philosophy of language. Chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of language and will be particularly useful for students coming to the subject for the first time. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert judgments vs. the judgments of ordinary speakers, (...) the role that ambiguity plays in influencing responses to experiments, and the reliability of metalinguistic judgments are also assessed. (shrink)
This engaging and accessible introduction to the philosophy of language provides an important guide to one of the liveliest and most challenging areas of study in philosophy. Interweaving the historical development of the subject with a thematic overview of the different approaches to meaning, the book provides students with the tools necessary to understand contemporary analytical philosophy. The second edition includes new material on: Chomsky, Wittgenstein and Davidson as well as new chapters on the causal theory (...) of reference, possible worlds semantics and semantic externalism. (shrink)
This collection of fourteen original essays addresses the seminal contribution of Franz Brentano and his heirs, to philosophy of language. Despite the great interest provoked by the Brentanian tradition and its multiple connections with early analytic philosophy, precious little is known about the Brentanian contribution to philosophy of language. The aim of this new collection is to fill this gap by providing the reader with a more thorough understanding of the legacy of Brentano and his (...) school, in their pursuit of a unique research programme according to which the analysis of meaning is inseparable from philosophical inquiries into what goes on in the mind and what there is in the world. In three parts, the volume first reconstructs Brentano’s pathbreaking thoughts on meaning and grammatical illusions, exploring their strong connections with the Austro-German tradition and analytic philosophy. It then addresses the multifaceted debates on the objectivity of meaning in the Brentano School and its aftermath. Finally, part three explores Brentano’s wider legacy, namely: Husserl’s theory of modification and typicality, Bühler’s theory of linguistic and non-linguistic expressions, and Wittgenstein’s thoughts on guidance and rule-following. The result is a unique collection of essays which shows the significance, originality and timely character of the Brentanian philosophy of language. (shrink)
In this chapter, the author offers a selective critical history in which he traces the difference between the tendency which Michael Dummett represents and the philosophers among whom Timothy Williamson is naturally placed to a difference in metaphysics which has much longer roots. He suggests that the ultimate source of the kind of role Dummett gives to thought is Hume's skeptical view of necessity, with its famous consequences for metaphysics. The philosophy of language is the key to the (...) most fundamental philosophy. The author argues that the ordinary language tradition had its origins, at least, in anti‐realism about modality, and continued throughout its history to take an attitude to philosophy in general, and metaphysics in particular, which is hard to justify without that anti‐realism ‐ even if it is characteristic of the philosophers in this tradition that they did not generally attempt to justify it. (shrink)
Starting with Gottlob Frege's foundational theories of sense and reference, Miller provides a useful introduction to the formal logic used in all subsequent philosophy of language. He communicates a sense of active philosophical debate by confronting the views of the early theorists concerned with building systematic theories - such as Frege, Bertrand Russell, and the logical positivists - with the attacks mounted by sceptics - such as W.O. Quine, Saul Kripke, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This leads to important excursions (...) into related areas of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science that present the more recent attempts to save the notions of sense and meaning by philosophers such as Paul Grice, John Searle, Jerry Fodor, Colin McGinn, and Crispin Wright. Miller then returns to the systematic program by examining the formal theories of Donald Davidson, concluding with a chapter surveying the relevance of philosophy of language to the broader metaphysical debates between realists and anti-realists. Miller's clear, engaged, and coherently structured approach makes Philosophy of Language an ideal text for undergraduate courses. The guides to further reading provided in each chapter help the reader pursue interesting topics further and facilitate using the book in conjunction with primary sources. (shrink)
The papers in this collection discuss broadly understood cognitive turns in the philosophy of language, inspired by the Chomskyan revolution in linguistics, Langacker's and Lakoff's Cognitive Linguistics, but also phenomenology, Relevance Theory and Classical Indian Philosophy. The individual texts investigate, from different angles, the relations between philosophy of language and linguistics, and contribute to the development of theoretical frameworks for studying language. Most of the contributions were presented at the first International Conference on (...) class='Hi'>Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, PhiLang2009 (University of Łodź, May 2009).". (shrink)
Philosophy of language deals with questions that arise from our ordinary, everyday conception of language. (Philosophy of linguistics, in contrast, follows up questions that arise from the scientific study of language.) But saying this does not yet give a clear idea of the sorts of questions that belong distinctively in philosophy of language. Wittgenstein said (1953, §119), ‘The results of philosophy are the uncovering of one or another piece of plain nonsense and (...) of bumps that the understanding has got by running its head up against the limits of language.’ On this conception, philosophy is about the ways in which we understand and misunderstand language, about how we come to mistake plain nonsense for something that is intelligible, and about what cannot be expressed in language. So, on this view, virtually all of philosophy is concerned with questions about language. It is, indeed, true that language has loomed large in the philosophy of the last hundred years or so. But there is still a specific, recognizable area of the discipline that is philosophy of language. It begins from one absolutely basic fact about language, namely, that expressions of a language have meaning, and can be used to talk about objects and events in the world. For philosophy of language, the central phenomenon to be studied is linguistic meaning. This chapter introduces some of the ways in which that study proceeds. Readers might also like to look at the closely related chapters on PHILOSOPHY.. (shrink)
Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert judgments vs. the judgments of ordinary speakers, (...) the role that ambiguity plays in influencing responses to experiments, and the reliability of meta-linguistic judgments are also assessed. (shrink)
This volume contains fourteen essays discussing recent issues in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. The collection is arranged into three sections: one on language, one on the intersection of language and mind, and a final section on mind. The topics include the context-sensitivity of semantics, anaphora, proper names, the nature of understanding, folk psychology and the Theory of Mind, self-awareness, the structure of the human mind and the extent to which it (...) is modular, among others. (shrink)
This engaging and accessible introduction to the philosophy of language provides an important guide to one of the liveliest and most challenging areas of study in philosophy. Interweaving the historical development of the subject with a thematic overview of the different approaches to meaning, the book provides students with the tools necessary to understand contemporary analytical philosophy.
Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central (...) to metaethics – and not simply because ‘metaethics’ was for a long time construed more narrowly as a name for the study of moral language. The philosophy of language is central to metaethics because both the advantages of and the open problems facing different metaethical theories differ sharply over the answers those theories give to central questions in the philosophy of language. In fact, among the open problems over which such theories differ, are included particularly further problems in the philosophy of language. This article briefly surveys a range of broad categories of views in metaethics and both catalogues some of the principal issues faced by each in the philosophy of language, as well as how those arise out of their answers to more basic questions in the philosophy of language. I make no claim to completeness, only to raising a variety of important issues. (shrink)
Philosophical Perspectives: Philosophy of Language brings together state of the art essays to address the key issues at the heart of the philosophy of language, written by some of the top minds in the field.
This is the first, and indeed the definitive systematic account of the wide-ranging philosophical ideas of Leibniz. The author, a highly respected analytical philosopher, has brought his own formidable abilities to bear on the unwieldy and inaccessible corpus of Leibniz's work.
What is meaning? How is linguistic communication possible? What is the nature of language? What is the relationship between language and the world? How do metaphors work? The Philosophy of Language, considered the essential text in its field, is an excellent introduction to such fundamental questions. This revised edition collects forty-six of the most important articles in the field, making it the most up-to-date and comprehensive volume on the subject. Revised to address changing trends and contemporary (...) developments, the fifth edition features seven new articles including influential work by Mark Crimmins, Gottlob Frege, David Kaplan, Frederick Kroon, W. V. Quine, and Robert Stalnaker (two essays). Other selections include classic articles by such distinguished philosophers as J. L. Austin, John Stuart Mill, Hilary Putnam, Bertrand Russell, John R. Searle, and P. F. Strawson. The selections represent evolving and varying approaches to the philosophy of language, with many articles building upon earlier ones or critically discussing them. Eight sections cover the central issues: Truth and Meaning; Speech Acts; Reference and Descriptions; Names and Demonstratives; Propositional Attitudes; Metaphor and Pretense; Interpretation and Translation; and The Nature of Language. A general introduction and introductions to each section give students background to the issues and explain the connections between them. A list of suggested further reading follows each section. (shrink)
Logicism and the Philosophy of Language brings together the core works by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell on logic and language. In their separate efforts to clarify mathematics through the use of logic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Frege and Russell both recognized the need for rigorous and systematic semantic analysis of language. It was their turn to this style of analysis that would establish the philosophy of language as an autonomous (...) area of inquiry. This anthology gathers together these foundational writings, and frames them with an extensive historical introduction. This is a collection for anyone interested in questions about truth, meaning, reference, and logic, and in the application of formal analysis to these concepts. (shrink)
Much of feminist philosophy of language so far can be described as critical—critical either of language itself or of philosophy of language, and calling for change on the basis of these criticisms. Those making these criticisms suggest that the changes are needed for the sake of feminist goals — either to better allow for feminist work to be done or, more frequently, to bring an end to certain key ways that women are disadvantaged. In this (...) entry, I examine these criticisms. I also examine work by feminists that seems to suggest some of the criticisms are misplaced: that, for example, philosophy of language is better able to help in feminist projects than critics suppose. My focus in this entry will generally be on the analytic tradition. For continental approaches, see the entries on feminist approaches to the intersection of analytic and continental philosophy , feminist approaches to the intersection of pragmatism and continental philosophy. (shrink)
This book is the first to provide a critical history of analytic philosophy from its inception in the late nineteenth century to the present day. Quentin Smith focuses on the connections between the four leading movements in analytic philosophy—logical realism, logical positivism, ordinary language analysis, and linguistic essentialism—and corresponding twentieth-century theories of ethics and of religion. Through a critical evaluation of each school’s theoretical positions, Smith counters the widespread view of analytic philosophy as indifferent to important (...) questions about right and wrong and human meaning. He argues that analytic philosophy throughout its history has revolved around the central issues of existence, and he offers a new ethics and philosophy of religion. The author develops a positive ethical theory based on a method of ethics first formulated by Robert Adams. Smith’s theory belongs to the tradition of perfectionism or self-realization ethics and builds on Thomas Hurka’s recent theory of perfectionism. In his consideration of philosophy of religion, Smith concludes that there is a sound "logical argument from evil" that takes into account Alvin Plantinga’s free-will defense and undermines monotheism, paving the way to a naturalistic pantheism. (shrink)
Some of the most distinguished active contributors to the field join together for a collection of their most recent work. Brings together important new papers by many of the most distinguished philosophers of language Takes up some of the central issues in the field in recent years Includes some of the best cutting-edge work in philosophy of language.
The domain of Islamic thought and intellectual history boasts an important body of studies relevant to the Arabic philosophy of language, as well as a growing interest in Islamicate argumentation theory and practice. There remains, however, a dearth of volumes which pool research from both areas and examine them together. Filling this gap is more critical than ever. In our time, significant work is being conducted in argumentation theory, but little of it draws from, or relates to, the (...) rich i... (shrink)