1st Edition

Arguing About Language




ISBN 9780415462440
Published October 27, 2009 by Routledge
616 Pages

USD $64.95

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Book Description

Arguing About Language presents a comprehensive selection of key readings on fundamental issues in the philosophy of language. It offers a fresh and exciting introduction to the subject, addressing both perennial problems and emerging topics.

Classic readings from Frege, Russell, Kripke, Chomsky, Quine, Grice, Lewis and Davidson appear alongside more recent pieces by philosophers or linguists such as Robyn Carston, Delia Graff Fara, Frank Jackson, Ernie Lepore & Jerry Fodor, Nathan Salmon, Zoltán Szabó, Timothy Williamson and Crispin Wright. Organised into clear sections, readings have been chosen that engage with one another and often take opposing views on the same question, helping students to get to grips with the key areas of debate in the philosophy of language, including:

    • sense and reference
    • definite descriptions
    • linguistic conventions
    • language and behaviour
    • descriptivism and rigidity
    • contextualism
    • vagueness
    • rule-following and normativity
    • fictional discourse.

Each article selected is clear, thought-provoking and free from unnecessary jargon. The editors provide lucid introductions to each section in which they give an overview of the debate and outline the arguments of the papers.

Arguing About Language is an ideal reader for students looking for a balanced yet up-to-date introduction to the philosophy of language.

Darragh Byrne is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Max Kölbel is ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is the author of Truth without Objectivity (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance (Routledge, 2004) with Bernhard Weiss, as well as Relative Truth (Oxford, 2008) with Manuel García-Carpintero.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part 1: A Homeric Struggle: Communication and Truth  1. Meaning H. Paul Grice  2. Meaning and Truth Peter Strawson  3. Language and Communication Michael Dummett  Part 2: Sense and Reference  4. On Sense and Reference Gottlob Frege  5. Frege’s Puzzle Nathan Salmon  Part 3: Definite Descriptions: Quantifiers or Singular Terms?  6. Descriptions Bertrand Russell  7. On Referring Peter Strawson  8. Mr Strawson on Referring Bertrand Russell  Part 4: Rigidity vs. Descriptivism  9. Naming and Necessity Saul Kripke  10. Reference and Descriptions Revisited Frank Jackson  Part 5: Analyticity  11. Two Dogmas of Empiricism W. V. Quine  12. In Defense of a Dogma H. Paul Grice and Peter Strawson  Part 6: Truth and Meaning  13. Truth and Meaning Donald Davidson  14. Meaning and Truth Theory John Foster  Part 7: Meaning, Intention and Convention  15. Languages and Language David K. Lewis  16. A Note on 'Languages and Language' John Hawthorne  17. A Chomskian Alternative to Convention-Based Semantics Stephen Laurence  Part 8: Knowledge of Language  18. Knowledge of Language Noam Chomsky  19. Semantic Theory and Tacit Knowledge Gareth Evans  20. Theories of Meaning and Speakers’ Knowledge Crispin Wright  Part 9: Meaning, Holism and Inferential Role  21. Why Meaning (Probably) Isn’t Conceptual Role Ernest Lepore and Jerry Fodor  22. Is Compositionality Compatible with Holism? Peter Pagin  Part 10: Implicature  23. Logic and Conversation H. Paul Grice  24. Linguistic Meaning, Communicated Meaning and Cognitive Pragmatics Robyn Carston  Part 11: Compositionality and Context  25. Against compositionality: the case of adjectives Ran Lahav  26. Adjectives in context Zoltan Szabo  Part 12: Rule-following and Normativity  27. Kripke’s Account of the Argument against Private Language Crispin Wright  28. Semantic Normativity Asa Wikforss  Part 13: Metaphor  29. What Metaphors Mean Donald Davidson  30. How Metaphors Work: a Reply to Donald Davidson Max Black  Part 14: Vagueness in Language  31. Vagueness, Logic and Ontology Achille Varzi  32. Vagueness and Ignorance Timothy Williamson  33. Shifting sands: an interest-relative theory of vagueness Delia Graff Fara  Part 15: Fictional Discourse  34. Truth in Fiction David K. Lewis  35. Talk about Fiction Stefano Predelli  36. Speaking of Fictional Characters Amie L. Thomasson

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Editor(s)

Biography

Darragh Byrne is lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK. 

Max Kölbel is ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is the author of Truth without Objectivity (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of Wittgenstein's Lasting Significance (Routledge, 2004) with Bernhard Weiss, as well as Relative Truth (Oxford, 2008) with Manuel García-Carpintero.

Reviews

When first I read it my immediate thought was: I would like to use this book for a philosophy of language course. There is, I think, a fine balance between classic and contemporary readings. And one thing I find especially laudable is that instead of, somewhat mindlessly, having chosen the most well-known readings on a topic, the editors have gone for quality and so have made some unconventional choices.

 Matti Eklund, Cornell University, USA

 

Byrne and Kölbel have chosen well. Their fifteen parts span the full spectrum of topics in philosophy of language. Each part includes two or three pivotal and provocative readings. Some are by household names like Russell and Chomsky. Others are little known gems that will pleasantly surprise even experts. The editors also do a superb job of helping readers to appreciate the import and value of the debates. The full package – the readings, overviews, guidance questions, and pointers to further readings – should enable students and others to discover and engage with opposing views in a fascinating and resurgent field of philosophy.

Alex Barber, The Open University