What is this thing called Philosophy of Language?, Paperback / softback Book

What is this thing called Philosophy of Language? Paperback / softback

Part of the What is this thing called? series

Paperback / softback

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Philosophy of language explores some of the most abstract yet most fundamental questions in philosophy.

The ideas of some of the subject's great founding figures, such as Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, as well as of more recent figures such as Saul Kripke and Hilary Putnam, are central to a great many philosophical debates to this day and are widely studied.

In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics:the basic nature of philosophy of language, its concepts and its historical developmentFrege’s theory of sense and reference; Russell's theory of definite descriptionsWittgenstein's Tractatus, Ayer, and the Logical Positivistsrecent perspectives including Kripke, Kaplan, Putnam, Chomsky, Quine and Davidson; arguments concerning translation, necessity, indexicals, rigid designation and natural kindsthe pragmatics of language, including speech-acts, presupposition and conversational implicaturepuzzles surrounding the propositional attitudes (sentences which ascribe beliefs to people)the challenges presented by the later Wittgensteincontemporary directions, including contextualism, fictional objects and the phenomenon of slursThe third edition has been thoroughly revised throughout and includes a new chapter on Noam Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar.

In addition, the concluding chapter on modern directions in philosophy of language has been expanded to two chapters, and which now cover crucial emergent areas of study such as slurs, conceptual engineering and experimental philosophy. Chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make What is this thing called Philosophy of Language? an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of language and will be particularly useful for students coming to the subject for the first time.


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