Author Weiss, Bernhard
Title How to Understand Language : A Philosophical Inquiry
Imprint London : Taylor & Francis Group, 2009
©2010
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource (286 pages)
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Note Cover -- Half Title -- Title Page -- Copyright Page -- Table of Contents -- Preface -- 1. The puzzles of language -- 1.1 The uses of language -- 1.2 Words and meanings -- 1.3 Compositionality -- 1.4 The normativity of meaning -- 2. The starting-point for analysis -- 2.1 Knowledge -- 2.2 Linguistic meaning -- 2.3 Frege's distinction between sense and reference -- 2.4 Russell's theory of descriptions -- 2.5 Kripke's attack on descriptivism about names -- 2.6 Analysis and singular terms -- 3. Analysing sentence-meaning -- 3.1 Specifying sentence-meaning -- 3.2 Natural and non-natural meaning -- 3.3 Speaker-meaning -- 3.4 Sentence-meaning -- 3.5 Problems for Grice's account -- 4. Analysing synonymy -- 4.1 The analytic-synthetic distinction -- 4.2 Holism -- 5. Radical translation -- 5.1 The indeterminacy of translation (the argument from below) -- 5.2 Methodological considerations -- 5.3 The indeterminacy of translation -- 5.4 Quine's conclusions on meaning -- 5.5 Evans's response -- 6. The structure of a theory of meaning -- 6.1 What is a theory of meaning? -- 6.2 Systematicity -- 6.3 The distinction between sense and force -- 6.4 The centrality of assertion -- 6.5 Use-conditions versus truth-conditions -- 6.6 Use-conditional theories of understanding -- 7. Radical interpretation -- 7.1 Constraints on an adequate theory of truth -- 7.2 The Principle of Charity -- 7.3 An application: saying that -- 7.4 Compositionality and extensionality -- 7.5 Davidson and Foster -- 7.6 Dummett on Davidson -- 8. Linguistic norms, communication and radical interpretation -- 8.1 Davidson on communication -- 8.2 A non-normative conception of meaning? -- 8.3 Norms and mistakes -- 8.4 A generalization of the argument? -- 9. Linguistic normativity -- 9.1 Norms and prescriptions -- 9.2 Correctness-conditions, practical reasoning and norms -- 9.3 Non-literal uses of language
9.4 Are the norms substantial? -- 10. Radical or robust? -- 10.1 The mysteriousness of language -- 10.2 Doing away with radical interpretation -- 10.3 Indeterminacy of reference -- 10.4 Arguments for robust publicity -- 10.5 Rejecting indeterminacy of reference -- 11. Language and community -- 11.1 Natural language is essentially communal: semantic externalism -- 11.2 Communication requires publicity of meaning -- 12. Rules and privacy: the problem -- 12.1 The problem of rule-following -- 12.2 Kripke's sceptical solution -- 12.3 Problems for the sceptical solution -- 13. Rules and privacy: the solution? -- 13.1 Can there be a private language? -- 13.2 Platonism about rules -- 13.3 Consensualism -- 13.4 Finding a way forward -- 13.5 Back to the theory of meaning -- 13.6 Privacy and first-personal authority -- 14. Truth-conditions versus use-conditions -- 14.1 Dummett's attack on truth-conditional theories -- 14.2 Brandom on inferentialism versus representationalism -- 14.3 Use-conditional accounts of meaning -- 14.4 The problematic pairs -- 14.5 The analytic-synthetic distinction -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
Why are philosophers, as opposed to, say, linguists and psychologists, puzzled by language? How should we attempt to shed philosophical light on the phenomenon of language? "How to Understand Language" frames its discussion by these two questions. The book begins by thinking about the reasons that language is hard to understand from a philosophical point of view and, armed with the fruits of that discussion, begins searching for an approach to these questions. After finding fault with approaches based on philosophical analysis and on translation it undertakes an extended investigation of the programme of constructing a theory of meaning. Donald Davidson's advocacy of that approach becomes pivotal; though, the book endorses his broad approach, it argues strongly against the roles both of truth theory and of radical interpretation
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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries
Link Print version: Weiss, Bernhard How to Understand Language : A Philosophical Inquiry London : Taylor & Francis Group,c2009 9781844651962
Subject Language and languages -- Philosophy.;Philology
Electronic books