An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language by Michael Morris

By Michael Morris

During this textbook, Michael Morris deals a severe advent to the valuable problems with the philosophy of language. every one bankruptcy focusses on one or texts that have had a seminal impact on paintings within the topic, and makes use of those as a manner of drawing close either the valuable issues and a few of the traditions of facing them. Texts comprise vintage writings through Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is stored to a minimal and is absolutely defined each time it truly is brought. the diversity of subject matters lined comprises feel and reference, certain descriptions, right names, natural-kind phrases, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical ways to which means, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of that means, and scepticism approximately which means. The publication may be worthy to scholars and to all readers who're drawn to the character of linguistic which means.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

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This is a very natural assumption – and, indeed, it is shared by many philosophers in the analytic tradition – but it is hard to see why it should seem so compelling. The fact that we can speak and write words does not mean that they are nothing but sounds or marks. It looks as if Locke is motivated by a general philosophical theory of the kinds of things there are in the world. If we begin with a very general conception of the things we might expect to encounter – in science, for 19 20 An introduction to the philosophy of language example – and ask which of these are words, then it does seem natural to think that words are just types of sound or mark.

15 You’ll get these two 13 14 15 Strictly, this is not quite precise: the impossibility has to be due to the form of the argument. Sometimes also called sentential calculus or propositional calculus. I’m assuming a simple, but not entirely uncontroversial philosophical account of variables here: on this account, (singular) variables simply mark the gaps where singular terms can go. The common alternative is to treat the variable as a kind of blank name: it can be used as a name of anything in an appropriate context.

Frege holds the following things about these expressions: (F3) Ordinary proper names and definite descriptions are singular terms; (F4) Ordinary proper names and definite descriptions all have Sense (as well, perhaps, as reference). What is meant by the notion of a ‘singular term’ in (F3)? The core idea is this: (ST1) The business of a singular term is to refer to an object. And that seems to mean that at least this must be true: 43 44 An introduction to the philosophy of language (ST2) A sentence containing a singular term has no truth-value if there is no object corresponding to that singular term.

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