Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy presents the theories of leading linguistic analysts such as Wittgenstein, Frege, Russell, Carnap and Quine. Ian Mackenzie's exploration into these theories prepares readers for advanced work on most topics in semantics and the study of language. His approach to the philosophy of language stresses the importance of observing how language is used rather than assuming that it conforms to a pre-existing logical structure. In addition to dealing with foundational issues, such as truth, meaning and the nature of language, this book explores specific linguistic phenomena - descriptions, names, non-extensional contexts and quantification - which have attracted considerable philosophical attention.
The structure of the book reflects the fact that the philosophical study of language is not systematic, but centers on aspects of language which are considered to be of fundamental conceptual significance. As such, it need not be read in any specific order. Material presented that presupposes an understanding of another concept is cross-referenced.