In Meaning and Structure, Peregrin argues that recent and contemporary (post)analytic philosophy, as developed by Quine, Davidson, Sellars and their followers, is largely structuralistic in the very sense in which structuralism was originally tabled by Ferdinand de Saussure. The author reconstructs de Saussure's view of language, linking it to modern formal logic and mathematics, and reveals close analogies between its constitutive principles and the principles informing the holistic and neopragmatistic view of language put forward by Quine and his followers. Peregrin also indicates how this view of language can be made compatible with what is usually called 'formal semantics'. Drawing on both the Saussurean tradition and recent developments in analytic philosophy of language, this book offers a unique study of the ways in which the concept of meaning can be seen as consisting in the concept of structure.
Contents: Introduction; The Whys and Hows of Structuralism: What is meaning?; What is structuralism?; Parts, whole and structures: prolegomena to formal theory; Structuralism of Postanalytic Philosophers: Translation and structure: Willard Van Orman Quine; Truth and structure: Donald Davidson; Inference and structure: Wilfrid Sellars and Robert Brandom; Semantic Structure of Language and of its Expressions: Meaning and inferential role; The ’natural’ and the ’formal’; The structures of expressions; Conclusion; Index.