Language

Language

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This third Companion To Ancient Thought is devoted to ancient theories of language. The chapters range over more than eight hundred years of philosophical enquiry, and provide critical analyses of all the principal accounts of how it is that language can have meaning and how we can come to acquire linguistic understanding. The discussions move from the naturalism examined in Plato's Cratylus to the sophisticated theories of the Hellenistic schools and the work of St Augustine. The relations between thought about language and metaphysics, philosophy of mind and the development of grammar are also explored.show more

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"If ever a case is to be made that ancient philosophy is just an early species of analytic philosophy, this is the volume to do it...The quality of the essays, in every case, is extremely high." Robert Pasnau, Review of Metaphysicsshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Plato on understanding language David Bostock; 3. Cratylus' theory of names and its refutation Bernard Williams; 4. Aristotle on names and their signification David Charles; 5. Epicurus on mind and language Stephen Everson; 6. The Stoic notion of a lekton Michael Frede; 7. Parrots, Pyrrhonists and native speakers David K. Glidden; 8. Analogy, anomaly and Apollonius Dyscolus David Blank; 9. Usage and abusage: Galen on language R. J. Hankinson; 10. Augustine on the nature of speech Christopher Kirwan; 11. The verb 'to be' in Greek philosophy: some remarks Lesley Brown.show more

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