About this topic
Summary A public language contrasts with a private language (a language only one person can speak, or know that they speak) and an idiolect (a language whose properties are determined by properties of the individual speaker, rather than other speakers or the community of speakers as a whole). Three main questions concerning public languages are the following. First, are there public languages, or are languages invariably either private languages or idiolects? Second, if there are public languages, are there languages that are not public, so either private languages or idiolects? Third, if there are both public languages and languages that are not public, what is the relation between private and public languages?   
Key works Kripke 1982 Important presentation of an argument against private language based upon the role of public language in determining correctness conditions for uses of language. Dummett 2010 Presentation of arguments in favour of the priority of public languages over languages that are not public, based on considerations about communication. Davidson 1986 Important argument against the need to appeal to public languages in giving an account of language and communication. Chomsky 1995 Defence of a view on which languages are not fundamentally public. 
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137 found
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  1. added 2018-11-21
    Wie Argumentieren Rechtspopulisten? Eine Argumentationsanalyse des AfD-Wahlprogramms.David Lanius - 2017 - Diskussionspapiere / Institut Für Technikzukünfte.
    Mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit wird die Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) am 24. September in den Bundestag einziehen. Jüngste Umfragen legen nahe, dass sie sogar drittstärkste Partei werden könnte. Warum findet die AfD so viele Unterstützerinnen und Unterstützer? Mit welchen Argumenten wirbt die AfD für ihren Einzug in den Bundestag? Das Wahlprogramm der AfD zeigt nicht nur, wofür die Partei steht, sondern auch welche Strategie sie bei der Bundestagswahl und darüber hinaus verfolgt. Aus diesem Grund habe ich es argumentationstheoretisch analysiert und die (...)
  2. added 2018-11-15
    Does Language Determine Our Scientific Ideas?H. G. Callaway - 1992 - Dialectica 46 (3-4):225-242.
    SummaryThis paper argues that the influence of language on science, philosophy and other field is mediated by communicative practices. Where communications is more restrictive, established linguistic structures exercise a tighter control over innovations and scientifically motivated reforms of language. The viewpoint here centers on the thesis that argumentation is crucial in the understanding and evaluation of proposed reforms and that social practices which limit argumentation serve to erode scientific objectivity. Thus, a plea is made for a sociology of scientific belief (...)
  3. added 2018-06-04
    A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence.Hili Razinsky - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):51-65.
    Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language – or concepts – must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life (...)
  4. added 2018-05-11
    Anti-Individualism: Mind and Language, Knowledge and Justification. By Sanford C. Goldberg: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Hugo Meynell - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (3):557-558.
  5. added 2018-02-18
    What “Intuitions” Are Linguistic Evidence?Michael Devitt - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (2):251-264.
    In "Intuitions in Linguistics" (2006a) and Ignorance of Language (2006b) I took it to be Chomskian orthodoxy that a speaker's metalinguistic intuitions are provided by her linguistic competence. I argued against this view in favor of the alternative that the intuitions are empirical theory-laden central-processor responses to linguistic phenomena. The concern about these linguistic intuitions arises from their apparent role as evidence for a grammar. Mark Textor, "Devitt on the Epistemic Authority of Linguistic Intuitions" (2009), argues that I have picked (...)
  6. added 2018-02-17
    Is There Such a Thing as Pragmatics?--Review of Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics 2nd Ed (2009).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 by Michael Starks 662p (2016). Michael Starks. pp. 381-399.
    Clearly neither I nor anyone will ever read any substantial part of this massive tome so I will discuss the one article that interests me most and which I think provides the framework necessary for the understanding of all the rest. I refer to the one on Ludwig Wittgenstein (W). Even were I to try to discuss others, we would not get past the first page as all the issues here arise immediately in any discussion of behavior. The differentiation of (...)
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Indirect Reports as Language Games.Alessandro Capone - 2012 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 20 (3):593-613.
    In this chapter I deal with indirect reports in terms of language games. I try to make connections between the theory of language games and the theory of indirect reports, in the light of the issue of clues and cues. Indirect reports are based on an interplay of voices. The voice of the reporter must allow hearers to ‘reconstruct’ the voice of the reported speaker. Ideally, it must be possible to separate the reporter’s voice from that of the reported speaker. (...)
  8. added 2018-02-17
    Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Lewis - 1969 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _ Convention_ was immediately recognized as a major contribution to the subject and its significance has remained undiminished since its first publication in 1969. Lewis analyzes social conventions as regularities in the resolution of recurring coordination problems-situations characterized by interdependent decision processes in which common interests are at stake. Conventions are contrasted with other kinds of regularity, and conventions governing systems of communication are given special attention.
  9. added 2018-02-16
    The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language.Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. -/- Ernie Lepore and Barry Smith present the definitive reference work (...)
  10. added 2018-02-16
    Chomsky and His Critics.Louise M. Antony & Norbert Hornstein (eds.) - 2003 - Wiley-Blackwell.
  11. added 2018-01-19
    Temporal Externalism and Our Ordinary Linguistic Practices.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):365-380.
    Temporal externalists argue that ascriptions of thought and utterance content can legitimately reflect contingent conceptual developments that are only settled after the time of utterance. While the view has been criticized for failing to accord with our “ordinary linguistic practices”, such criticisms (1) conflate our ordinary ascriptional practices with our more general beliefs about meaning, and (2) fail to distinguish epistemically from pragmatically motivated linguistic changes. Temporal externalism relates only to the former sort of changes, and the future usage relevant (...)
  12. added 2016-12-12
    Virtuous Argumentation and the Challenges of Hype.Adam Auch - 2013 - Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation 10: Virtues of Argumentation.
    In this paper, I consider the virtue of proportionality in relation to reasoning in what I call ‘hype contexts’. I conclude that a virtuous arguer is one that neither accepts nor rejects a claim based on its ubiquity alone, but who evaluates its importance with reference to the social context in which it is made.
  13. added 2016-12-08
    How to Talk to Yourself or Kripke's Wittgenstein's Solitary Language Argument and Why It Fails.William Max Knorpp - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3):215-248.
  14. added 2016-10-27
    Anti-Individualism: Mind and Language, Knowledge and Justification.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Sanford C. Goldberg argues that a proper account of the communication of knowledge through speech has anti-individualistic implications for both epistemology and the philosophy of mind and language. In Part I he offers a novel argument for anti-individualism about mind and language, the view that the contents of one's thoughts and the meanings of one's words depend for their individuation on one's social and natural environment. In Part II he discusses the epistemic dimension of knowledge communication, arguing that the epistemic (...)
  15. added 2016-09-30
    Berkeley on Unperceived Objects and the Publicity of Language.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (3):231-250.
    Berkeley's immaterialism aims to undermine Descartes's skeptical arguments by denying that the connection between sensory perception and reality is contingent. However, this seems to undermine Berkeley's (alleged) defense of commonsense by failing to recognize the existence of objects not presently perceived by humans. I argue that this problem can be solved by means of two neglected Berkeleian doctrines: the status of the world as "a most coherent, instructive, and entertaining Discourse" which is 'spoken' by God (Siris, sect. 254) and the (...)
  16. added 2016-07-25
    How New Language Emerge. [REVIEW]R. Sansegundo Cachero - 2009 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (1).
  17. added 2016-07-25
    On What We Mean.Arnold J. Chien - 2002
  18. added 2016-07-25
    Language From an Internalist Perspective.Noam Chomsky - 1997 - In David Martel Johnson & Christina E. Erneling (eds.), The Future of the Cognitive Revolution. Oxford University Press. pp. 118--135.
  19. added 2016-07-25
    The Ideas of Chomsky.Noam Chomsky - 1997 - Films for the Humanities & Sciences Distributed Under License From Bbc Worldwide Americas.
  20. added 2016-07-25
    Wherein is Language Social?Tyler Burge - 1989 - In A. George (ed.), Reflections on Chomsky. Blackwell. pp. 175--191.
  21. added 2016-07-18
    The Reality of Language: On the Davidson-Dummett Debate.Kirk Ludwig & Ernest Lepore - 2007 - In Randall Auxier & Lewis Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Michael Dummett: The Library of Living Philosophers. pp. 185-214.
    This chapter identifies the central issue between Michael Dummett and Donald Davidson on the role of convention in language and argues they are not as far apart in the end as they take themselves to be.
  22. added 2016-06-01
    Meaning and Evidence: A Reply to Lewis.John Hawthorne - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):206--211.
  23. added 2016-03-05
    Coordination, Triangulation, and Language Use.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):80-112.
    In this paper, I explore two contrasting conceptions of the social character of language. The first takes language to be grounded in social convention. The second, famously developed by Donald Davidson, takes language to be grounded in a social relation called triangulation. I aim both to clarify and to evaluate these two conceptions of language. First, I propose that Davidson’s triangulation-based story can be understood as the result of relaxing core features of conventionalism pertaining to both common-interest and diachronic stability—specifically, (...)
  24. added 2016-03-04
    Public Manifestability and Language-Internalism.A. C. Genova - 1999 - Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1):37-46.
  25. added 2016-01-27
    Jezik in javno: reorganizacija trivija v Lockovem Eseju in v Portroyalski logiki.Gregor Kroupa - 2013 - Filozofski Vestnik 34 (3):57-74.
    "Language and its Public Features: Reorganizing the Trivium in Locke's Essay and Port-Royal Logic" The new theory of language in the 17th century coincides with the end the traditional order of disciplines in the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric), which in the mediaeval times provided a comprehensive view of the problems of discourse. The article focuses on some key passages in Port-Royal Logic and Locke's Essay that provide us with a typical early modern scheme of linguistic representation, characterised by heavily (...)
  26. added 2016-01-21
    Another Look at the Rule‐Following Paradox.Greg Janzen - 2014 - Philosophical Forum 45 (1):69-88.
    Saul Kripke has famously argued that the central question of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, at least in relation to Wittgenstein's discussion of meaning, is the question: what facts determine that a speaker is following a particular rule? For example, assuming that language-use is a rule-governed activity, what facts determine that the rule a speaker is complying with in her current usage of a word is equivalent to the rule she complied with in her previous usage of the word? According to Kripke, (...)
  27. added 2015-10-19
    Michael Devitt, Ignorance of Language.Gareth Fitzgerald - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (3):445-450.
  28. added 2015-06-17
    The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language.Harry Smit - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book sheds new light on the problem of how the human mind evolved. Harry Smit argues that current studies of this problem misguidedly try to solve it by using variants of the Cartesian conception of the mind, and shows that combining the Aristotelian conception with Darwin's theory provides us with far more interesting answers. He discusses the core problem of how we can understand language evolution in terms of inclusive fitness theory, and investigates how scientific and conceptual insights can (...)
  29. added 2015-05-19
    Zur Dekonstruktion des Un/Gesunden in philologischen Taxonomien: westlich-chinesischer Renaissance-Diskurs.Viatcheslav Vetrov - 2012 - Oriens Extremus 51:231-268.
    Following Mary Douglas' conviction that "dirt is never an isolated event", the present study aims at a systematic analysis of bodily projections of good and poor health (bacteria, diseases, im/purity etc.) into philological taxonomies of Republican China. Embedded in a global Renaissance discourse, modern Chinese representations of un/healthy language and un/healthy literature provided a system according to which the whole body of the national cultural heritage could be reexamined quickly and effectively.
  30. added 2014-04-03
    A Defense of Derangement.Paul Pietroski - 1994 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):95 - 117.
    In a recent paper, Bar-On and Risjord (henceforth, 'B&R') contend that Davidson provides no 1 good argument for his (in)famous claim that "there is no such thing as a language." And according to B&R, if Davidson had established his "no language" thesis, he would thereby have provided a decisive reason for abandoning the project he has long advocated--viz., that of trying to provide theories of meaning for natural languages by providing recursive theories of truth for such languages. For he would (...)
  31. added 2014-04-02
    Wittgenstein and 'Solitary' Languages.Claudine Verheggen - 1995 - Philosophical Investigations 18 (4):329-347.
  32. added 2014-04-02
    Wittgenstein on Private Language and Privat Mental Objects.Dale Jacquette - 1994 - Wittgenstein-Studien 1 (1).
  33. added 2014-04-02
    Wittgenstein on Meaning.Eddy Zemach - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 33:415-435.
    Wittgenstein is usually taken to have held that the use of a term is not mentally constrained. That is utterly wrong. A use of language unconstrained by meaning is attributed by him to "meaning-blind" or "aspect-blind" creatures, not to us. We observe meaning when an aspect dawns on us; meaning is the impression {Eindruck) of a term as fitting something; hence, unhke pain, it cannot stand alone. That is a mentalistic theory of meaning: use is determined by images {Vorstellungen) that (...)
  34. added 2014-04-01
    The Community View.John V. Canfield - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (4):469-488.
  35. added 2014-04-01
    No Need to Speak the Same Language? Review of Ramberg, Donald Davidson's Philosophy of Language.H. G. Callaway & J. van Brakel - 1996 - Dialectica, Vol. 50, No.1, 1996, Pp. 63-71 50 (1):63-72.
    The book is an “introductory” reconstruction of Davidson on interpretation —a claim to be taken with a grain of salt. Writing introductory books has become an idol of the tribe. This is a concise book and reflects much study. It has many virtues along with some flaws. Ramberg assembles themes and puzzles from Davidson into a more or less coherent viewpoint. A special virtue is the innovative treatment of incommensurability and of the relation of Davidson’s work to hermeneutic themes. The (...)
  36. added 2014-04-01
    Wittgenstein, Meaning and Understanding: Essays on the Philosophical Investigations.Gordon P. Baker - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
  37. added 2014-03-31
    Chomsky V. Kripke, Round Two: Methodological Collecttivism and Explanatory Adequacy.Dan Barbiero - 1996 - Wittgenstein-Studien 3 (2).
  38. added 2014-03-29
    Language and Communication.Michael Dummett - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge.
  39. added 2014-03-29
    Language as a Complex System: Interdisciplinary Approaches.Gemma Bel-Enguix, Jiménez López & María Dolores (eds.) - 2010 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
  40. added 2014-03-29
    In Defense of a Dogma.H. Paul Grice & P. F. Strawson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophical Review. Routledge. pp. 141 - 158.
  41. added 2014-03-29
    Arguing About Language.Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.) - 2009 - Routledge.
    Arguing About Language presents a comprehensive selection of key readings on fundamental issues in the philosophy of language. It offers a fresh and exciting introduction to the subject, addressing both perennial problems and emerging topics. Classic readings from Frege, Russell, Kripke, Chomsky, Quine, Grice, Lewis and Davidson appear alongside more recent pieces by philosophers or linguists such as Robyn Carston, Delia Graff Fara, Frank Jackson, Ernie Lepore & Jerry Fodor, Nathan Salmon, Zoltán Szabó, Timothy Williamson and Crispin Wright. Organised into (...)
  42. added 2014-03-29
    Is There a Division of Linguistic Labour?Catherine J. L. Talmage - 1998 - Philosophia 26 (3-4):421-434.
  43. added 2014-03-29
    A Note on 'Languages and Language'.John Hawthorne - 1990 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):116 – 118.
  44. added 2014-03-27
    XIII: Communication and Writing: A Public Language Argument.Simon Glendinning - 2000 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100 (3):271–286.
    Arguments directed against conceptions of communication which 'privatise' content are familiar. But such arguments tend not to explore the more general idea that communication involves the attempt by one subject to transmit a sense to another subject. In this paper I argue that there is a distinctive misinterpretation of this more general idea which, in a certain way, belongs to philosophy, and concerning which the 'privacy' interpretation is only an inflection. The paper develops an argument against that interpretation and the (...)
  45. added 2014-03-26
    On the Nature of Language: A Basic Exposition.James Higginbotham - 2012 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International.
  46. added 2014-03-26
    Convention and Language.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Synthese 117 (3):295-312.
    This paper has three objectives. The first is to show how David Lewis' influential account of how a population is related to its language requires that speakers be 'conceptually autonomous' in a way that is incompatible with content ascriptions following from the assumption that its speakers share a language. The second objective is to sketch an alternate account of the psychological and sociological facts that relate a population to its language. The third is to suggest a modification of Lewis' account (...)
  47. added 2014-03-25
    Unconfirmed Sightings of an 'Ordinary Language' Theory of Language.James D. McCawley - 1999 - Synthese 120 (2):213-228.
    It is unfortunate that Francis Y. Lin, in ‘Chomsky on the “ordinary language” view of language’ pays little attention to his own remark, ‘Chomsky’s criticisms make us realize that we should not be content with general and vague formulations of convention, ability, and so on. We must make such notions precise and provide details’ Lin speaks so imprecisely and provides so few details of notions on which he relies heavily, such as ‘general learning mechanism’ and ‘sentence frame’, that readers must (...)
  48. added 2014-03-23
    Idiolectal Error.Alex Barber - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (3):263–283.
    A linguistic theory is correct exactly to the extent that it is the explicit statement of a body of knowledge possessed by a designated language-user. This popular psychological conception of the goal of linguistic theorizing is commonly paired with a preference for idiolectal over social languages, where it seems to be in the nature of idiolects that the beliefs one holds about one’s own are ipso facto correct. Unfortunately, it is also plausible that the correctness of a genuine belief cannot (...)
  49. added 2014-03-23
    Logical Form and the Vernacular.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (4):393–424.
    Vernacularism is the view that logical forms are fundamentally assigned to natural language expressions, and are only derivatively assigned to anything else, e.g., propositions, mental representations, expressions of symbolic logic, etc. In this paper, we argue that Vernacularism is not as plausible as it first appears because of non-sentential speech. More specifically, there are argument-premises, meant by speakers of non-sentences, for which no natural language paraphrase is readily available in the language used by the speaker and the hearer. The speaker (...)
  50. added 2014-03-21
    David Lewis's Philosophy of Language.Richard Holton - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):286–295.
    Lewis never saw philosophy of language as foundational in the way that many have. One of the most distinctive features of his work is the robust confidence that questions in metaphysics or mind can be addressed head on, and not through the lens of language.
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