An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Dec 14, 2006 - Philosophy
0 Reviews
In this textbook, Michael Morris offers a critical introduction to the central issues of the philosophy of language. Each chapter focusses on one or two texts which have had a seminal influence on work in the subject, and uses these as a way of approaching both the central topics and the various traditions of dealing with them. Texts include classic writings by Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is kept to a minimum and is fully explained whenever it is introduced. The range of topics covered includes sense and reference, definite descriptions, proper names, natural-kind terms, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical approaches to meaning, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of meaning, and scepticism about meaning. The book will be invaluable to students and to all readers who are interested in the nature of linguistic meaning.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


2 Frege on Sense and reference
We end up with some uncertainty about what we should
3 Russell on definite descriptions
France is that its hard to see that there is
the fact is that Alice Cooper is not a
4 Kripke on proper names
and metaphysical or ontological considerations Epistemic considerations
5 Naturalkind terms
8 The semantics of propositional
and then explain how they were sitting by drawing a
9 Davidson on truth and meaning
10 Quine and Davidson on translation
11 Quine on the indeterminacy of
Dogmas remains quite widely accepted particularly in the United States
12 Austin on speech acts
13 Grice on meaning

just those kinds whose identity is independent of human interests
6 Quine on de re and de dicto modality
of necessity by denying C And the difficulty with this
7 Reference and propositional
voice was referring to him And in any case the
inaugurated a whole research programme within the philosophy of
14 Kripke on the rulefollowing
dispositionalist account of meaning but it would offer us a
15 Wittgenstein on the Augustinian

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 13 - The comfort, and advantage of society, not being to be had without communication of thoughts, it was necessary, that man should find out some external sensible signs, whereof those invisible ideas, which his thoughts are made up of, might be made known to others.
Page 13 - Man, though he has great . variety of thoughts, and such from which others as well as himself might receive profit and delight, yet they are all within his own breast." In this sentence, the nominative man stands alone and unconnected with any verb, either expressed or implied. It should be, " Tliouyh man has great variety,
Page 13 - Thus we may conceive how words, which were by nature so well adapted to that purpose, come to be made use of by men as the signs of their ideas ; not by any natural connexion that there is between particular articulate sounds and certain ideas, for then there would be but one language amongst all men ; but by a voluntary imposition, whereby such a word is made arbitrarily the mark of such an idea. The use, then, of words is to be sensible marks of ideas, and the ideas they stand for are their proper...
Page 13 - Ideas, which his thoughts are made up of, might be made known to others. For this purpose, nothing was so fit, either for Plenty or Quickness, as those articulate Sounds, which with so much Ease and Variety, he found himself able to make. Thus we may conceive how Words, which were by Nature so well adapted to that purpose, come to be made use of by Men, as the Signs of their Ideas...

About the author (2006)

Michael Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He is author of The Good and the True (1992) and numerous articles.

Bibliographic information