New PDF release: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

By Michael Morris

ISBN-10: 0521842158

ISBN-13: 9780521842150

During this textbook, Michael Morris bargains a severe advent to the vital problems with the philosophy of language. each 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 impending either the important subject matters and a number of the traditions of facing them. Texts contain vintage writings by means of Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is saved to a minimal and is totally defined at any time when it really is brought. the diversity of themes lined comprises experience and reference, sure 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 could be valuable to scholars and to all readers who're drawn to the character of linguistic that means.

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29 30 An introduction to the philosophy of language On the face of it, it seems to throw away much of the point of the Context Principle. It seems to be doing the very thing which the Context Principle seemed to warn us against: insisting on treating the meaning of subsentential expressions as a matter of their being correlated with some thing which they signify. And it leads Frege into a peculiar problem. Frege hopes to hold onto the grammatical difference between singular terms and predicates, while treating both as kinds of expression which have referents, by insisting on a fundamental difference between the referents of these types of expression.

At the core of the difficulty with understanding Frege’s views is a certain crudeness in his analysis of grammar. Frege treats a wide variety of expressions as singular terms, on a par with ordinary proper names. In particular, he treats the complex expression ‘the least rapidly converging series’ and the simple proper name ‘Odysseus’ in the same way. The first of these is what is known as a definite description. It is a description because it says something about what it purports to be concerned with (in this case, that it’s a least rapidly converging series); and it is definite in the same way as the definite article ‘the’ (which, of course, it contains) is definite: it is somehow implied that there is one and only one thing which the description applies to.

Good translation should preserve Sense, but cannot be expected to preserve colouring. Colouring is a matter of the Ideas associated with words, and is the concern of poetry rather than science. ’32 The difficulty is that as long as anything like Evans’s ‘Intuitive Criterion of Difference’ characterizes the notion of Sense, it seems that a difference of colouring or shading between two words is likely to be enough for a difference of Sense, since it is likely to be enough to allow someone to understand both words without realizing that they have the same reference.

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language by Michael Morris


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