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Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy
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Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy


Other Titles in:
Linguistics (General)

August 1997 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Providing an account of major philosophical issues, this essential textbook bridges the gap between linguistics and the philosophy of language.

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.

 
PART ONE: FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES
 
Meaning and the Nature of Language
 
The Semantic Conception of Truth
 
Logical Truth and Analyticity
 
PART TWO: NAMING
 
Names, Sense and Nominatum
 
The Causal Theory of Names
 
PART THREE: DEFINITE DESCRIPTIONS
 
Description and Analysis
 
Descriptions as Names
 
PART FOUR: NON-EXTENSIONAL CONTEXTS
 
Modal Contexts
 
Propositional Attitudes
 
PART FIVE: GENERALITY
 
Indefinite Noun Phrases
Fregean Quantifiers and Class Theory  

There are many things this book excels at, and taken together with Lycan students have some of the most accesible chapters on contemporary linguistic philosophy I have seen. The best chapter here is the one on descriptions - I will await to see what student feedback is like, but I am hoping I have found the 'holy grail' of a chapter on Russell which does not pre-suppose an existing grounding in philosophical logic and notation.

Mr Jonathan Tulloch
Newham University Centre, Newham College of Further Education
April 16, 2013

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