‘Linguistic meaning must be public’ – for Quine, here is not a statement to rest with, whether it be reckoned true or reckoned false. It calls for explication. When we do, using Quine’s words to piece together what he thought, we find that much too much is concealed by the original statement. Yes, Quine said ‘Language is a social art’; yes, he accepts behaviourism so far as linguistic meaning is concerned; yes, he broadly agrees with Wittgenstein’s anti-privacy stricture. But precisely (...) what is being said by the original statement to be public, and what does calling it ‘public’ amount to? Pressing such questions complicates the picture enormously, partly though by no means entirely aligning Quine with linguistic internalism vis-à-vis Chomsky. (shrink)
Richard Wollheim was hardly alone in supposing that his account of pictorial depiction implies that a trompe-l’œil is not a depiction. I recommend removing this apparent implication by inserting a Kant-style version of aspect-perception into his account. I characterize the result as Neo-Wollheimian and retain the centrality of Wollheim’s notion of twofoldedness in the theory of depiction, but I demote it to a contingent feature of depictions and I criticize his employment of it for determining the category of both the (...) trompe-l’œil and depictions in general. (shrink)
_Critical Thinking_ is a much-needed guide to thinking skills and above all to thinking critically for oneself. Through clear discussion, students learn the skills required to tell a good argument from a bad one. Key features include: *jargon-free discussion of key concepts in argumentation *how to avoid confusions surrounding words such as 'truth', 'knowledge' and 'opinion' *how to identify and evaluate the most common types of argument *how to spot fallacies in arguments and tell good reasoning from bad *topical examples (...) from politics, sport, medicine, music *chapter summaries, glossary and exercises _Critical Thinking_ is essential reading for anyone, student or professional, seeking to improve their reasoning and arguing skills. (shrink)
Philosophy of language explores some of the fundamental yet most technical problems in philosophy, such as meaning and reference, semantics, and propositional attitudes. Some of its greatest exponents, including Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell are amongst the major figures in the history of philosophy. In this clear and carefully structured introduction to the subject Gary Kemp explains the following key topics: the basic nature of philosophy of language and its historical development early arguments concerning the role of meaning, (...) including cognitive meaning vs expressivism, context and compositionality Frege’s arguments concerning sense and reference; non-existent objects Russell and the theory of definite descriptions modern theories including Kripke and Putnam; arguments concerning necessity, analyticity and natural kind terms indexicality, context and modality. What are indexicals? Davidson’s theory of language and the ‘principle of charity’ propositional attitudes Quine’s naturalism and its consequences for philosophy of language. Chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of language and will be particularly useful for students coming to the subject for the first time. (shrink)
Richard Heck has contested my argument that the equation of the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition implies deflationism, on the ground that the argument does not go through if truth-conditions are understood, in Davidson's style, to be stated by T-sentences. My reply is that Davidsonian theories of meaning do not equate the meaning of a sentence with its truth-condition, and thus that Heck's point does not actually obstruct my argument.
Davidson's paratactic account of indirect quotation preserves the apparent relational structure of indirect speech but without assuming, in the Fregean manner, that the thing said by a sayer is a proposition. I argue that this is a mistake. As has been recognised by some critics, Davidson's account suffers from analytical shortcomings which can be overcome by redeploying the paratactic strategy as a means of referring to propositions. I offer a quick and comprehensive survey of these difficulties and a concise propositional (...) solution. Further, I argue that Davidson's more general philosophical commitments provide no reason not to embrace the propositional strategy: despite appearances, to invoke propositions in the way suggested is consistent with Davidson's holism and consequent doctrine of semantic indeterminacy. (shrink)
Museums and their practices—especially those involving collection, curation and exhibition—generate a host of philosophical questions. Such questions are not limited to the domains of ethics and aesthetics, but go further into the domains of metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of religion. Despite the prominence of museums as public institutions, they have until recently received surprisingly little scrutiny from philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition. By bringing together contributions from philosophers with backgrounds in a range of traditional areas of philosophy, this volume demonstrates (...) how their work can enhance our understanding of museums and shed light on the philosophical questions raised by museum practices. Many of the essays in this volume make the case that the philosophy of museums is of vital concern, not only to those philosophers at work in the emerging field but also to practitioners within the museum world and to anyone who enjoys visiting museums. (shrink)
A response to certain parts of Rumfitt : I defend Davidson's project in semantics, suggest that Rumfitt's use of sentential quantification renders his definition of truth needlessly elaborate, and pose a question for Rumfitt's handling of the strengthened Liar.
I argue against Hume and Kant, who maintain that ‘beauty’ expresses a state of the subject, rather than describes features of the object. The word ‘beauty’ is far from being alone in having an expressive dimension, and that which it has falls short of individuating it semantically. Instead, I propose a theory of linguistic idealism with respect to ‘beauty’.
Landy’s book (OUP 2004; 255 pp.+ x) delivers what has gone long and scandalously missing: a philosophical analysis of Proust’s incomparable book that is muscular, concise, philosophically informed and sophisticated; logically rigorous, explanatorily fruitful, and meticulously answerable to its data, namely the text. The philosophy here is not, as often the case in writing about Proust, mere rhetoric or window-dressing, but substantive and literally believable. The book should for a long time be inescapable for anyone writing philosophically about Proust, and (...) perhaps for anyone writing philosophically about imaginative literature, full stop. It is that good, its themes that wide. (shrink)
I attempt to explain Frege's handling of the Julius Caesar issue in terms of his more general philosophical commitments. These only became fully explicit in his middle‐period writings, but his earlier moves are best explained, I suggest, if we suppose them to be implicit in his earlier thinking. These commitments conditionally justify Frege in rejecting Hume's Principle as either a definition or axiom but in accepting Axiom V. However, the general epistemological picture they constitute has serious problems in accounting for (...) how knowledge is possible at all of such propositions as that Julius Caesar is not a number. (shrink)
Quine’s naturalism has no room for a point of view outside science from which one might criticize science, or a transcendental point of view from which one could ask questions about the adequacy of science with respect to reality. Adrian Moore sniffs out some genuine tensions in this, arguing in effect that Quine is forced by his own views to admit those sorts of questions as legitimate. I venture that Quine, even if he would grant that the posing of such (...) questions is an inevitable feature of reason in some sense, would take such curiosity to be strictly speaking a mistake, something like that of thinking there must be a single truth-predicate for all levels of Tarski’s hierarchy. (shrink)