Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Ambiguity, Vagueness, and Metaphor in Language

Routledge & Kegan Paul (1979)
Abstract
Ambiguity, vagueness and metaphor are pervasive features of language, deserving of systematic study in their own right. Yet they have frequently been considered mere deviations from ideal language or obstacles to be avoided in the construction of scientific systems. First published in 1979, Beyond the Letter offers a consecutive study of these features from a philosphical point of view, providing analyses of each and treating their relations to one another. Addressed to the fundamental task of logical and semantic explanation, the book employs an inscriptional methodology in the attempt to avoid prevalent forms of question-begging, and, further, in the conviction that sparseness of assumption often reveals points of theoretical interest irrespective of methodolgical preference. The author distinguishes and analyses several varieties of ambiguity, developing new semantic notions in the process; recasts the philosophical treatment of vagueness in the light of recent criticisms of analyticity; discusses the bearing of vagueness on logic; and provides a systematic critique of major recent interpretations of metaphor, developing a revised version of contextualism
Keywords Language and languages Philosophy  Ambiguity  Vagueness (Philosophy  Metaphor
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Call number P106.S273
ISBN(s) 0710003153     9780415581110   0415581117
DOI 10.2307/2219410
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What Makes It a Heap?Timothy Williamson - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (3):327 - 339.
Précis of Vagueness and Contradiction. [REVIEW]Roy Sorensen - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):678–685.

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