Word and World: Practice and the Foundations of Language

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Cambridge University Press, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 420 pages
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This important book proposes a new account of the nature of language, founded upon an original interpretation of Wittgenstein. The authors deny the existence of a direct referential relationship between words and things. Rather, the link between language and world is a two-stage one, in which meaning is used and in which a natural language should be understood as fundamentally a collection of socially devised and maintained practices. Arguing against the philosophical mainstream descending from Frege and Russell to Quine, Davidson, Dummett, McDowell, Evans, Putnam, Kripke and others, the authors demonstrate that discarding the notion of reference does not entail relativism or semantic nihilism. A provocative re-examination of the interrelations of language and social practice, this book will interest not only philosophers of language but also linguists, psycholinguists, students of communication and all those concerned with the nature and acquisition of human linguistic capacities.
  

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Contents

The PrisonHouse of Language
17
ii Tree and demonic possession
19
iii The Correspondence Theory of Meaning
20
Referential Realism
26
ii Semantic foundationalism
27
iii Spontaneity and receptivity
30
iv Hyperempiricism
37
v Meaning and Prima Philosophia
43
iv True as an undefined primitive
199
v Assertion and registration
200
vi Quine on translation Wittgenstein on ostensive definition
203
Truth and Use
207
ii Affirmationdenial content connectors
208
iv What determines affirmationdenial content connectors?
209
v Practice predication and the concept of truth
211
vi Concepts and the natural world
212

Out of the PrisonHouse
45
ii Word and practice practice and world
48
iii Truth reference and language games
51
iv Resisting reductionism
53
v Adequating or not adequating concepts
56
vi Relative Realism
58
NAMES AND THEIR BEARERS
61
Russells Principle and Wittgensteins Slogan
63
ii Russells Principle
67
iii Knowinghow and knowingthat
72
iv Names and propositions
73
v Wittgensteins reservations
77
vi Logic must take care of itself
83
vii Meeting the demands of the Slogan
86
viii The Tractatus and its failure
88
ix Russells Principle and Wittgensteins Slogan
91
The NameTracking Network
95
ii Actual and nominal descriptions
98
iii Describing and locating
100
iv The whereabouts of Easthampton
102
v Naming practices
104
vi Some further examples
106
vii The NameTracking Network
107
viii Logic must take care of itself
110
ix NameBearerships as nomothetic entities
114
x Odysseus and Bunbury
122
xi Postscript on Russell and Strawson
124
Rigidity
126
iii Accounting for rigidity
129
Descriptions and Causes
133
ii Evanss critique of the causal theory
134
iii Evanss account
136
iv The NameTracking Network versus the Dominant Cluster Theory
137
v Cases involving misapprehension
139
vi Causality versus intentionality
142
vii Speakers beliefs and intentions
143
viii The requirement of unique discriminability
144
ix Wittgenstein and Descartes
145
x Relativism and social convention
148
xi Labels and real names
150
xii Proper names and personal identity
153
xiv The meaning of a name
155
Knowledge of Rules
159
ii Practices and rules
160
iii The theoretical representation of linguistic competence
162
iv Rulescepticism
165
v Guided or random?
168
vi Kripke and Dummett
172
vii Martians and chessplayers
174
viii A further example
175
ix Kripke and his critics
176
x Kripke and Wittgenstein
177
xi On not answering Kripkes sceptic
178
xii Goddard on counting
179
xiii The meaning of signpost
183
xiv Devitt and Sterelny on knowinghow
185
xv Objectivity the individual and society
186
xvi The difference between swimming and speaking Spanish
188
xvii Wittgenstein and fullblooded conventionalism
189
PROPOSITIONS
191
Meaning and Truth
193
ii What is it to know the truthconditions of a statement?
194
iii Translation and interpretation
195
viii Two further examples
216
x Ostensive definition again
222
xi The sensory evidence for meaning
224
xii Two senses of truthconditions
227
xiii Refutation of the Verifiability Theory of Meaning
229
Unnatural Kinds
231
iii Twin Earth
234
iv Direct reference
235
v Rigidity and indexicality
236
vi Stereotypes
237
vii The thinness of linguistic knowledge
238
viii Salience and segmentation
240
ix Cataloguing the world
243
x Colours species kinds of stuff
246
xi Linguistic and factual knowledge
253
xii Indexicality rigidity and kinds
256
xiii Qualified internalism
259
Necessity and Grammar
261
ii Two senses of logical grammar
263
iii Logical grammar and conventionalism
266
iv Analyticity
270
v Incompatibilities of colour
274
vi Intrinsic relations
277
vii Essences
278
PARADOXES OF INTERPRETATION
289
Indeterminacy of Translation1
291
iii Quines linguist and his Native subjects
295
iv Observation sentences
296
v Are observation sentences sentences?
297
vi Are observation sentences a part of language?
298
vii Ontology and the background language
300
viii Psychological and linguistic salience
301
ix Nature and human decision
305
x Referential Realism as the root of Quines difficulties
306
Linguistic Competence1
309
iii The paradox
310
iv Kripkes challenge
312
v The Principle of Insulation
313
vi How not to generate Kripkes Paradox
315
viii The puzzle disappears
317
ix Dissolution versus redescription
318
xi Externalism and Russells Principle
322
Paradox and Substitutivity1
324
ii Substitutivity of identicals
325
iii Kripkes constraints on the construction of the puzzle
326
iv Normal practices of translation and disquotation
328
vii Paradigmatic roots of DQO
329
viii The puzzle restated and DQO recast
331
ix The puzzle as a paradox
332
x Meaning
333
xi Translation as based on propositional content
335
xii Externalism unmasked
337
xiii The root of the problem
340
xiv The solution
342
EPILOGUE
345
Relative Realism
347
ii Brains in vats
356
iii MeaningRealism
358
iv The idea of a logically perfect language
364
v The human and the subjective
368
Notes
383
Index
399
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