Language and reality from a naturalistic perspective: Themes from Michael Devitt

Cham: Springer (2020)
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Abstract

This book celebrates the many important contributions to philosophy by one of the leading philosophers in the analytic field, Michael Devitt. It collects seventeen original essays by renowned philosophers from all over the world. They all develop themes from Devitt’s work, thus discussing many fundamental issues in philosophy of linguistics, theory of reference, theory of meaning, methodology, and metaphysics. In a long final chapter, Devitt himself replies to the contributors. In so doing, he further elaborates his views on various of these issues, for example defending his claim (in opposition to Chomskyan orthodoxy) that languages are external rather than internal; his well-known causal theory of reference; his “shocking” idea that meanings can be causal, non-descriptive, modes of presentation; his methodological naturalism; his commitment to scientific realism; and his version of biological essentialism. The volume will appeal to all scholars and students interested in contemporary theoretical analytic philosophy, and will be a must-read for any serious researcher in philosophy of language. It provides a deep insight into the work of one of the most important living philosophers, and will help readers to better understand language and reality from a naturalistic perspective.

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Explanation and Reality in Linguistics.Michael Devitt - 2008 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):203-231.
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Language and Reality, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language.Michael Devitt & Kim Sterelny - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):377-378.
The methodology of naturalistic semantics.Michael Devitt - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (10):545-72.
Language and reality: an introduction to the philosophy of language.Michael Devitt & Kim Sterelny - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Edited by Kim Sterelny.
Ignorance Radicalized.Gergo Somodi - 2009 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):140-156.
Naturalistic representation. [REVIEW]Michael Devitt - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (3):425-443.

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Andrea Bianchi
University of Parma

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