Living Words

Living Words : Meaning Underdetermination and the Dynamic Lexicon

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Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how meanings are modulated (changed) even during the course of our everyday conversations. When we engage with communicative partners we build micro-languages on the fly-languages that may be fleeting, but which serve our joint interests. Sometimes we sync up on word meanings without reflection, but in many cases we debate the proper modulation of the meanings of our
words. Living Words explores the norms that govern the ways in which we litigate word meanings. The resulting view is radical, and Ludlow shows that it has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse and also for some of the deepest and most intractable puzzles that have gripped
English-language philosophy for the past 100 years-including puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 204 pages
  • 147 x 223 x 19mm | 380g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198712057
  • 9780198712053
  • 1,767,432

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Norms of word meaning litigation ; 3. The Nature of the Dynamic Lexicon ; 4. Meaning Underdetermination, Logic, and Vagueness ; 5. Consequences for Analytic Philosophy ; 6. Metaphor and Beyond ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

Living Words is an insightful and challenging read that aims to provide value both inside and outside of academia. As such, the book is enjoyable and also provides original insight into current philosophical issues. * Jumbly Grindrod, Philosophy in Review *
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About Peter Ludlow

Peter Ludlow is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. He has written on topics ranging from metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of language, linguistics, and the foundations of cognitive science to conceptual issues involving digital culture, cyber rights, and the surveillance state. His most recent book was The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics (OUP, 2011).
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Rating details

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