Linguistic Philosophy: The Central Story

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SUNY Press - Philosophy - 243 pages
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How much authority should language, the medium of communication, be accorded as a determinant of truth and therefore of what we say? Garth L. Hallett argues that, although never explicitly debated, this is the most significant issue of linguistic philosophy. Here, for the first time, he traces the issue’s story. Starting with representative thinkers—Plato, Aquinas, Kant, Frege, and the early Wittgenstein—who contested language’s authority, the narrative then focuses on thinkers such as Carnap, Tarski, the later Wittgenstein, Flew, Russell, Malcolm, Austin, Kripke, Putnam, Strawson, Quine, and Habermas who, in different ways and to varying degrees, accorded language more authority. Implicit in this account is a challenge to philosophy as still widely practiced.
 

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Contents

1 The Issue of Languages Authority
1
2 The Questions Centrality
13
3 Platos Recourse to Nonlinguistic Forms
19
4 Aquinas and the Primacy of Mental Truth
25
Precise Thought versus Imprecise Language
33
6 Carnaps Limited Linguistic Turn
43
7 Tarski Truth and Claims of Linguistic Incoherence
53
8 Wittgensteins Acceptance of the Authority of Language
61
13 Austin Statementsand Their Truth
107
From Meaning to Truth
115
15Kripke Putnam and Rigid Designation
125
16Quine Linguistic Truthsand Holistic Theory
137
17 Quine Indeterminacyand the Opacity of Language
149
18 Rorty Stich and Pragmatic Assertability
157
19 Habermas Communicative Speech and Validity
165
An Overview
171

9 Wittgenstein versusTheoretical Intuitions
73
10 Flew and ParadigmCase Arguments
83
11 Russells Critique ofCommon Sense
91
12 Malcolm and theOrdinaryLanguage Debate
101
NOTES
185
BIBLIOGRAPHY
213
INDEX
231
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Page 4 - We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native languages. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds - and this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds.

About the author

Garth L. Hallett is Dean of the College of Philosophy and Letters at St. Louis University and the author of many books, including Essentialism: A Wittgensteinian Critique, also published by SUNY Press.

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