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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language : Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy - Michael Morris

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy


Published: 7th February 2007
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In this textbook, Michael Morris offers a critical introduction to the central issues of the philosophy of language.

Each chapter focuses on one or two texts which have had a seminal influence on work in the subject, and uses these as a way of approaching both the central topics and the various traditions of dealing with them.

Texts include classic writings by Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is kept to a minimum and is fully explained whenever it is introduced.

The range of topics covered includes sense and reference, definite descriptions, proper names, natural-kind terms, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical approaches to meaning, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of meaning, and scepticism about meaning.

The book will be invaluable to students and to all readers who are interested in the nature of linguistic meaning.

About the Author

Michael Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He is author of The Good and the True (1992) and numerous articles.

"'This is a knowledgeable and very useful addition to contemporary introductions to the philosophy of language, somewhere in difficulty between Lycan's 2008 and Taylor's (1998) worthy texts. It is the right size for a 15-week semester course, at one chapter a week (students like to use what they buy) ...this book will give any motivated student a good survey of the subject." --Robert Harnish, University of Arizona, Philosphy in Review

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Locke and the nature of languagep. 5
Introductionp. 5
What Locke saysp. 5
Meaning and significationp. 9
Problems about communicationp. 10
Words and sentencesp. 14
Locke's less disputed assumptionsp. 18
Frege on Sense and referencep. 21
Introductionp. 21
Psychologism and the Context Principlep. 22
Frege and logicp. 26
Frege's mature system (i): referencep. 28
Frege's mature system (ii): Sensep. 32
Two further uses of the notion of Sensep. 36
Questions about Sensep. 40
Sense and the Basic Worryp. 47
Russell on definite descriptionsp. 49
Introductionp. 49
The problemsp. 50
Russell's solution in outlinep. 53
Russell's solution in detailp. 55
Strawson on definite descriptionsp. 61
Donnellan on referential and attributive uses of descriptionsp. 63
Russellian defencesp. 66
Russell beyond descriptionsp. 70
Kripke on proper namesp. 74
Introductionp. 74
Kripke's targetp. 76
Kripke's objections (i): simple considerationsp. 78
Kripke's objections (ii): epistemic and modal considerationsp. 80
Defences of the description theoryp. 85
Sense and direct referencep. 90
Conclusionp. 92
Natural-kind termsp. 94
Introductionp. 94
A Lockean view of natural-kind terms: the individualist versionp. 96
A Lockean view without individualismp. 102
How can there be Kripke-Putnam natural-kind terms?p. 105
How can natural-kind terms be rigid designators?p. 108
Quine on de re and de dicto modalityp. 113
Introductionp. 113
Quine's three grades of modal involvementp. 114
Referential opacity and Leibniz's lawp. 118
Referential opacity and the three gradesp. 121
Quine's logical problem with de re modalityp. 126
Quine's metaphysical worries about de re modalityp. 130
Reference and propositional attitudesp. 134
Introductionp. 134
Quine's problemp. 135
Quine's proposed solutionp. 138
Perry and the essential indexicalp. 145
The problems for Quine's solutionp. 147
Consequencesp. 150
The semantics of propositional attitudesp. 152
Introductionp. 152
Kripke, names, necessity and propositional attitudesp. 153
Kripke's Pierrep. 155
Referential solutions to the puzzlep. 158
A Fregean responsep. 163
Davidson's proposalp. 166
Can Davidson's proposal solve Kripke's puzzle?p. 169
Davidson on truth and meaningp. 173
Introductionp. 173
Meanings as entitiesp. 175
Tarski's 'definition' of truthp. 179
Davidson's use of Tarskip. 183
The obvious objections to Davidson's proposalp. 187
Truth and the possibility of general semanticsp. 189
One final worryp. 191
Quine and Davidson on translation and interpretationp. 194
Introductionp. 194
Quine and radical translationp. 195
Davidson and radical interpretationp. 198
Statements of meaning and prepositional attitudesp. 202
Theories of meaning and speakers' knowledgep. 205
How fundamental is radical interpretation?p. 210
Quine on the indeterminacy of translationp. 214
Introductionp. 214
Two dogmas of empiricism'p. 215
Indeterminacy and inscrutabilityp. 219
Resisting Quine on indeterminacy: some simple waysp. 228
Austin on speech actsp. 231
Introductionp. 231
Performative utterancesp. 232
Towards a general theory of speech actsp. 234
Truth and performativesp. 239
Issues for a theory of speech actsp. 242
Grice on meaningp. 248
Introductionp. 248
Grice's overall strategyp. 249
Sympathetic objections to Grice's account of speaker-meaningp. 253
Sympathetic objections to Grice's account of expression-meaningp. 258
An unsympathetic objection to Grice's account of expression-meaningp. 261
An unsympathetic objection to Grice's account of speaker-meaningp. 264
After Gricep. 268
Kripke on the rule-following paradoxp. 271
Introductionp. 271
The sceptical challengep. 272
The 'sceptical solution'p. 277
A community-based responsep. 283
Can dispositionalism be defended?p. 284
Anti-reductionism and radical interpretationp. 287
Wittgenstein on the Augustinian picturep. 292
Introductionp. 292
The Augustinian picturep. 293
The Anti-Metaphysical interpretationp. 295
The Quasi-Kantian interpretationp. 299
Worries about these Wittgensteinian viewsp. 308
Glossaryp. 312
Works citedp. 316
Indexp. 323

ISBN: 9780521603119
ISBN-10: 0521603110
Series: Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 334
Published: 7th February 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.7  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.665