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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language

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textbook Award Winner

Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy

  • Date Published: December 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521603119

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Through use of this book, students will be introduced to the full range of topics within the philosophy of language
    • Each chapter focuses on one or two seminal texts, introducing readers to the core literature on the subject
    • Includes a glossary which provides clear explanations of technical terms
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    • Winner of the CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Title 2007

    Reviews & endorsements

    "'This is a knowledgeable and very useful addition to contemporary introductions to the philosophy of language, somewhere in difficulty between Lycan's 2008 and Taylor's (1998) worthy texts. It is the right size for a 15-week semester course, at one chapter a week (students like to use what they buy) ...this book will give any motivated student a good survey of the subject."
    --Robert Harnish, University of Arizona, Philosphy in Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521603119
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.664kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Locke and the nature of language
    2. Frege on sense and reference
    3. Russell on definite descriptions
    4. Kripke on proper names
    5. Natural-kind terms
    6. Quine on de dicto and de re modality
    7. Reference and propositional attitudes
    8. The semantics of propositional attitudes
    9. Davidson on truth and meaning
    10. Quine and Davidson on translation and interpretation
    11. Quine on the indeterminacy of translation
    12. Austin on speech acts
    13. Grice on meaning
    14. Kripke on the rule-following paradox
    15. Wittgenstein on the Augustinian picture.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Introduction to the Philosophy of Language
    • Language, Meaning, and Understanding
    • Mind and Consciousness
    • Philosophy of Language
  • Author

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


    • Winner of the CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Title 2007

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