Language and Reality An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

ISBN-10: 0262540991
ISBN-13: 9780262540995
Edition: 2nd 1999
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Description: What is language? How does it relate to the world? How does it relate to the mind? Should our view of language influence our view of the world? These are among the central issues covered in this spirited and unusually clear introduction to the  More...

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Book details

List price: $42.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 1/29/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

What is language? How does it relate to the world? How does it relate to the mind? Should our view of language influence our view of the world? These are among the central issues covered in this spirited and unusually clear introduction to the philosophy of language. Making no pretense of neutrality, Michael Devitt and Kim Sterelny take a definite theoretical stance. Central to that stance is naturalism--that is, they treat a philosophical theory of language as an empirical theory like any other and see people as nothing but complex parts of the physical world. This leads them, controversially, to a deflationary view of the significance of the study of language: they dismiss the idea that the philosophy of language should be preeminent in philosophy. This highly successful textbook has been extensively rewritten for the second edition to reflect recent developments in the field.

Kim Sterelny is Professor of Philosophy at Australian National University and Victoria University of Wellington. His books include Language and Reality (with Michael Devitt; second edition, MIT Press).

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction
Introduction
The Philosophy of Language
What is the Problem?
What is a Theory of Language?
The Menu
Suggested Reading
Meaning
Truth and reference
Meaning and Truth
Explaining Truth Conditions
Nonindicatives
Explaining Structure
Are Referential Roles Enough?
Enter Senses
Suggested Reading
Description Theories of Reference: Names
The Classical Description Theory
The Modern Description Theory
Ignorance and Error
Reference Borrowing
Rejecting Description Theories
Suggested Reading
A Causal Theory of Reference: Names
A Causal Theory
Virtues of the Causal Theory
Developing the Theory
Direct Reference
The Qua-Problem
Suggested Reading
Theories of Reference: Other Terms
Description Theories of Natural Kind Terms
A Causal Theory of Natural Kind Terms
The Qua-Problem
Other Kind Terms
Hybrid Theories
Analyticity, Apriority, and Necessity
Donnellan's Distinction
Designational Terms
Suggested Reading
Syntactic Structure
Introduction
Some Reasons for Structure
Linguistic Categories
6.4
Suggested Reading
Language and Mind
Thought and Meaning
Thoughts as Inner Representations
The Language-of -Thought Hypothesis
A Public Language of Thought or "Mentalese"?
Grice's Theory of Meaning
Avoiding the Explanatory Circle
The Origins of Language
Indicator and Teleological Semantics
Suggested Reading
Linguistic Competence
Introduction
The Conflation of Symbols and Competence
Two Proposals on the Psychological Reality of Syntactic Rules
Knowledge-How Versus Knowledge-That
Built-In Versus Represented Rules
Cartesian Intuitions
"The Only Theory in Town"
Are Syntactic Rules Built in Processing-Rules?
Linguistic Competence as a Translation Ability
Chomskyan nativism
Suggested Reading
Defending Representation
Introduction
Deflationism
Functional-Role Semantics and "Narrow" Meanings
The Two-Factor Theory
Kripke's Skeptical Argument
Suggested Reading
Linguistic Relativity:
Introduction
The Tyranny of Vocabulary
The Tyranny of Syntax
The Scientific Whorfians
The Rejection of Scientific Whorfianism
Suggested Reading
Language and Realism
Verification
Realism
Logical Positivism and the Elimination of the Realism Dispute
Dummett and the Misidentification of the Realism Dispute
Verificationism
Suggested Reading
Worldmaking
Kant
Whorfian Constructivism
Scientific Constructivism
The Renegade Putnam
Suggested Reading
Structuralism
Introduction
Saussure's Linguistics
The Rejection of Reference
The Rejection of Realism
Suggested Reading
Language and Philosophy
First Philosophy
Philosophy Naturalized
Traditional First Philosophy; the One-Over Many Problem
The Linguistic Turn: Ordinary Language Philosophy
The Linguistic Turn: Conceptual Analysis
Suggested Reading
Rational Psychology
Rational Psychology Versus Protoscience
Dennett
Davidson
Principles of Charity
Against Charity
Suggested Reading
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
indicates chapters and sections which are difficult and probably best ignored in an initial approach

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