Dialogue 39 (3):605-607 (2000)

In the past couple of decades, interest in the philosophy of language has, according to the introduction written by Zoltan Szabó for this volume, cooled somewhat. This is because pursuit of many of the philosophical issues that the study of language had set out to solve in the first place has developed into not so much the study of language, but, rather, of mind, and adjacent areas of philosophy. As Tyler Burge has put it, “Many philosophers felt that the philosophy of language had done its job.” This volume attempts to illuminate the positive side of these developments for the philosophical study of language. Szabó says, “The scientific results are interesting on their own, their relevance to the philosophical questions remains clear”. This, then, puts philosophy of language on a new footing, where, “Freed from the responsibility of ultimately answering all philosophical questions, philosophers of language were free to confess an interest in language per se”. The stated purpose of the volume is to present the reader with a variety of representative papers which “exemplify the current reorientation of philosophy of language,” which Szabó characterizes as a joint linguistic and philosophical investigation into “the syntax and semantics of various natural language constructions.”
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0012-2173
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