Philosophy and the Vision of Language  book cover
1st Edition

Philosophy and the Vision of Language

ISBN 9780415883993
Published June 7, 2010 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

Philosophy and the Vision of Language explores the history and enduring significance of the twentieth-century turn to language as a specific object of investigation and resource for philosophical reflection. It traces the implications of the access to language in some of the most prominent projects and results of the historical and contemporary tradition of analytic philosophy, including the projects of Frege, Wittgenstein, Sellars, Quine, Brandom, and Cavell. Additionally, it demonstrates the deep and enduring connections between the analytic tradition’s inquiry into language and the parallel inquiries of phenomenology, critical theory, and deconstruction over the course of the twentieth century. Finally, it documents some of the enduring consequences of philosophy’s inquiry into language for contemporary questions of social and political life. The book provides a clear, accessible and widely inclusive introduction to the relevance of language for analytic and continental philosophy in the twentieth century and is readable by non-specialist audiences. It should contribute to a growing historical sense of the location of the analytic tradition in a broader geography of social, political and critical thought. Furthermore, it contributes to building bridges between this tradition and the neighboring continental ones from which it has all too often been estranged.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Introduction: Language and Structure

Section I: Early Analytic Philosophy

Chapter 2: Frege on the Context Principle and Psychologism

Chapter 3: ‘Meaning is Use’ in the Tractatus

Section II: Radical Translation and Intersubjective Practice

Introductory: From Syntax to Semantics (and Pragmatics)

Chapter 4: Ryle and Sellars on Inner-State Reports

Chapter 5: Quine’s Appeal to Use and the Genealogy of Indeterminacy

Section III: Critical Outcome

Introductory: From the Aporia of Structure to the Critique of Practice

Chapter 6: Wittgenstein, Kant, and the Critique of Totality

Chapter 7: Thinking and Being: Heidegger and Wittgenstein on Machination and Lived-Experience

Chapter 8: Language, Norms, and the Force of Reason

Section IV: Conclusion

Chapter 9: The Question of Language






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Paul M. Livingston is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University. He has published widely in the history of twentieth century philosophy. His first book was titled Philosophical History and the Problem of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, 2004).