What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?
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What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?

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Philosophy of language explores some of the most abstract yet most fundamental questions in philosophy. The ideas of some of the subject's great founding figures, such as Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, as well as of more recent figures such as Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam, are central to a great many philosophical debates to this day.


In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics:








the basic nature of philosophy of language, its concepts, and its historical development







Frege's theory of sense and reference; Russell's theory of definite descriptions







Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Ayer, and the Logical Positivists







recent perspectives including Kripke, Kaplan and Putnam; arguments concerning necessity, indexicals, rigid designation and natural kinds







The pragmatics of language, including speech-acts, presupposition and conversational implicature







Davidson's theory of language, the `principle of charity', and the indeterminacy of interpretation







puzzles surrounding the propositional attitudes (sentences which ascribe beliefs to people)







Quine's naturalism and its consequences for philosophy of language.







The challenges presented by the later Wittgenstein







Contemporary directions, including contextualism, fictional objects and the phenomenon of slurs





This second edition has been thoroughly revised to include new key topics and updated material. 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 242 pages
  • 171 x 248 x 13.97mm | 480g
  • ROUTLEDGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • 7 Tables, black and white
  • 1138225827
  • 9781138225824
  • 65,642

Table of contents

Contents





List of figures and tables


Preface


Introduction


1 eight preparatory notes


2 cognitive meaning and expressive meaning


3 meaning and force


4 context-dependence


5 the roles of propositions


6 compositionality, structure and understanding


note





1 Naive semantics and the language of logic


1 naive theory: singular terms, predicates and reference


2 truth and meaning for atomic sentences


3 logical syntax and logical operators


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


notes





2 Fregean semantics


1 two problems for naive semantics


2 the sense-reference distinction


3 the distinction extended


4 compositionality again; the reference of a sentence


5 applying the theory


6 substitutivity and extensionality


7 the analysis of propositional attitudes


8 the objectivity of sense


9 predicate reference and the concept horse problem


10 further discussion: the context principle


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


notes





3 Russellian semantics


1 the task for russell


2 the theory of definite descriptions


3 Applying the theory of descriptions


4 names as disguised definite descriptions


5 knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


notes





4 Russell's Theory of Judgement, The Early Wittgenstein, and Logical Positivism








propositions, facts, and russell's theory of judgement







The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus







verificationism i: ayer







verificationism ii: carnap's logical empiricism







the vienna circle and the protocol debate





historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


notes





5 Kripke on naming and necessity


1 necessity, possibility and possible worlds: a primer


2 the descriptivist paradigm


3 kripke's objections to the description theory of proper names


4 rigid designation


5 fixing the reference i: causal chains


6 fixing the reference ii: descriptions


7 lingering issues from russell and frege


8 further discussion: intensional semantics


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


notes





6 Context dependence, indexicality and natural kinds


1 indexicals and demonstratives


2 putnam on natural kind terms and essence


3 is meaning in the head?


4 the actual world as a context


5 two-dimensionalism: context of utterance versus circumstance of evaluation


6 further discussion: rigid designation again


7 the indispensability of indexicals


8 indexicals and fregean sense


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


note





7 Pragmatics


1 mood and force revisited


2 speech act theory


3 implicature


4 some applications of the concept of implicature


5 presupposition; strawson's and donnellan's objections to russell's theory of descriptions


6 metaphor


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


note





8 The propositional attitudes


1 extensionality revisited


2 referential opacity and frege on the attitudes


3 further discussion: multiple hyper-intensional embedding


4 de re and de dicto necessity


5 de re and de dicto belief


6 ralph's predicament


7 belief attributions and explicit indexicals; belief de se


8 an implicit indexical element


9 direct reference, the attitudes, and the semantic de re


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


notes





9 Davidson's philosophy of language


1 methodology


2 the general form of a theory of meaning


3 the exact form of a theory of meaning


4 the empirical confirmation of a theory of meaning: radical interpretation


5 the principle of charity and the interdependence of belief and meaning


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


notes





10 Quine's philosophy of language


1 quine's naturalism


2 the jungle linguist


3 indeterminacy


4 meaning and analytic truth


5 the argument of `two dogmas of empiricism'


6 quine proposes replacement, not analysis


7 the place of naturalism


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading





11 The Late Wittgenstein


1 language games


2 family resemblance, tools and cities


3 to follow a rule i


4 to follow a rule ii


5 private language


historical notes


chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


12 Modern directions








assertion







context-relativity







fictional objects







inferentialism







slurs





chapter summary


study questions


primary reading


secondary reading


Glossary


Bibliography


Index
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Review quote

'This book is an outstanding pedagogical tool, which will be useful to anyone looking to gain a foothold in the subject. The second edition, which features new chapters on key figures, prominent topics, and recent developments in the field, is a substantial and welcome development of the excellent first edition.'


Brett Sherman, University of South Carolina, USA.


`Will become the standard textbook for survey courses in the philosophy of language'.


Ernest Lepore, Rutgers University, USA.


Praise for the first edition:


'To my mind this is the best introductory textbook for undergraduates looking to get a feel for the subject, without getting bogged down in advanced technical details. Gary Kemp covers all the traditional topics in the field and presents them in an accessible, engaging, and always rigorous style. Appended to each chapter are useful historical notes, a summary, a few questions, and some bibliographical recommendations for further research - a complete set of study aids that ought to be welcomed by students and teachers alike.' - Stefano Predelli, University of Nottingham, UK


'An easy, step by step journey through the classic themes of twentieth-century philosophy of language.' - Francois Recanati, Institut Jean Nicod, France


'Kemp has written a genuine introduction to the philosophy of language with beginning students in mind. Focusing on the issue of the meaning of natural language, he begins with a naive and, for students, very natural view of linguistic meaning. He then motivates and explains the distinctions, problems, solutions and development of the philosophy of language with the patience and understanding of a master teacher.' - Michael Losonsky, Colorado State University, USA
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About Gary Kemp

Gary Kemp is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, UK. He has authored or edited various books and articles in the Philosophy of language, including Quine versus Davidson: Truth, Reference and Meaning.
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