Word and World: Practice and the Foundations of Language

Cambridge University Press (2004)
Abstract
This important book proposes a new account of the nature of language, founded upon an original interpretation of Wittgenstein. The authors deny the existence of a direct referential relationship between words and things. Rather, the link between language and world is a two-stage one, in which meaning is used and in which a natural language should be understood as fundamentally a collection of socially devised and maintained practices. Arguing against the philosophical mainstream descending from Frege and Russell to Quine, Davidson, Dummett, McDowell, Evans, Putnam, Kripke and others, the authors demonstrate that discarding the notion of reference does not entail relativism or semantic nihilism. A provocative re-examination of the interrelations of language and social practice, this book will interest not only philosophers of language but also linguists, psycholinguists, students of communication and all those concerned with the nature and acquisition of human linguistic capacities.
Keywords Language and languages Philosophy  Reference (Linguistics
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Call number P107.H36 2004
ISBN(s) 0521537444   0521822874   9780521537445
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Joseph Rouse (2011). Articulating the World: Experimental Systems and Conceptual Understanding. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):243 - 254.
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