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)
Containing three previously unpublished papers by W.V. Quine as well as historical, exegetical, and critical papers by several leading Quine scholars including Hylton, Ebbs, and Ben-Menahem, this volume aims to remedy the comparative lack of historical investigation of Quine and his philosophical context.
Gary Kemp presents a penetrating investigation of key issues in the philosophy of language, by means of a comparative study of two great figures of late twentieth-century philosophy. He reveals unexplored tensions between the views of Quine and Davidson, and presents a powerful argument in favour of Quine and methodological naturalism.
_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)
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)
Pictorial representation is one of the core questions in aesthetics and philosophy of art. What is a picture? How do pictures represent things? This collection of specially commissioned chapters examines the influential thesis that the core of pictorial representation is not resemblance but 'seeing-in', in particular as found in the work of Richard Wollheim. We can see a passing cloud _as_ a rabbit, but we also see a rabbit _in_ the clouds. 'Seeing-in' is an imaginative act of the kind employed (...) by Leonardo’s pupils when he told them to see what they could - for example, battle scenes - in a wall of cracked plaster. This collection examines the idea of 'seeing-in' as it appears primarily in the work of Wollheim but also its origins in the work of Wittgenstein. An international roster of contributors examine topics such as the contrast between seeing-in and seeing-as; whether or in what sense Wollheim can be thought of as borrowing from Wittgenstein; the idea that all perception is conceptual or propositional; the metaphor of figure and ground and its relation to the notion of 'two-foldedness'; the importance in art of emotion and the imagination. Wollheim, Wittgenstein and Pictorial Representation: Seeing-as and Seeing-in is essential reading for students and scholars of aesthetics and philosophy of art, and also of interest to those in related subjects such as philosophy of mind and art theory. (shrink)
Both Russell and Frege were inclined to think that there is nothing essentially linguistic about thought: any actual reliance of ours upon language is a mere psychological contingency. If so then it should be possible to formulate logic in such a way that logical relationships are not represented or expressed as principles pertaining to linguistic forms. Russell and Frege take pains to achieve this, but fail. I explain this by looking at some features of Grundgesetz and Principia . Their failure, (...) I suggest, is due to the nature of the case. (shrink)
‘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)
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)
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.
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)
Does trust play a significant role in the appreciation of art? If so, how does it operate? We argue that it does, and that the mechanics of trust operate both at a general and a particular level. After outlining the general notion of ‘art-trust’—the notion sketched is consistent with most notions of trust on the market—and considering certain objections to the model proposed, we consider specific examples to show in some detail that the experience of works of art, and the (...) attribution of art-relevant properties or characterisations to works of art, very often involves the notion of trust; in such cases—perhaps most or even, implicitly, all—the question ‘Do I trust the artist (or art-maker)?’, is inescapable. (shrink)
Featuring essays from leading philosophical scholars, __12 Modern Philosophers__ explores the works, origins, and influences of twelve of the most important late 20th Century philosophers working in the analytic tradition. Draws on essays from well-known scholars, including Thomas Baldwin, Catherine Wilson, Adrian Moore and Lori Gruen Locates the authors and their oeuvre within the context of the discipline as a whole Considers how contemporary philosophy both draws from, and contributes to, the broader intellectual and cultural milieu.
Museums have traditionally been understood as places where carefully selected objects are categorized and put on display so that they can be known through observation. So-called ‘world-museums’, such as the British Museum, were designed to provide the public with access to the wider world through the knowledge they could acquire simply by observing the objects put forward for their inspection. This understanding of what museums do has been increasingly called into question due to changing views of knowledge-acquisition. New understandings of (...) museums are emerging that seek to be responsive to more complex epistemological theories, and philosophers, as evidenced by the essays in this volume, are taking a lively interest in this development. As the essays in this volume further show, specific aspects of museum practices—especially concerning collection and curation, as well as exhibition—also invite philosophical scrutiny. (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)
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’.
I make a Quinean case that Quine’s ontological relativity marked a wrong turn in his philosophy, that his fundamental commitments point toward the classical view of ontology that was worked out in most detail in his Word and Object. This removes the impetus toward structuralism in his later philosophy.
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.
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 argue for an alternative to Quine’s conception of observation sentences, one that better satisfies the roles Quine envisages for them, and that otherwise respects Quinean constraints. After reviewing a certain predicament Quine got into in balancing the needs of the intersubjectivity of observation sentences with his notion of the stimulus meaning of an observation sentence, I push for replacing the latter with what I call the ‘stimulus field’ of an observation sentence, a notion that remains ‘proximate’ but is shared (...) between different language users. Throughout, I emphasize the epistemological role of observation sentences. (shrink)
As against the view represented here by Peter Hacker and John Canfield, I urge that the philosophies of Quine and Wittgenstein can be reconciled. Both replace the orthodox view of language as resting on reference: Quine with the notion of linguistic disposition, Wittgenstein with the notions of grammar and forms of life. I argue that Wittgenstein's insistence, in the rule-following discussion, that at bottom these are matters of practice, of ‘what we do’, is not only compatible in a rough sort (...) of way with Quine's outlook, but is very close to Quine's naturalistic view of language. And I argue that the likely objections to this can on the one hand be explained away as Quine's having been interested in a very narrow slice of language in comparison with Wittgenstein, and on the other by a failure to take into account later developments in Quine’s views. (shrink)
Glock’s book is about evenly divided between Quine and Davidson. The central claims are (i) that they are best studied in conjunction; (ii) that they ‘can profitably be seen as logical pragmatists’ (meaning primarily that they view language as action that can be understood or clarified by means of formal logic); (iii) that they ‘combine profound insights with serious distortions’; and (iv) that their respective attempts to ‘accommodate higher phenomena such as meaning and thought within a naturalistic framework’ are ‘misguided’ (...) (pp. – ). But the overriding aim is clearly to establish (iv) along with the negative.. (shrink)
Did Quine respond to the Kant-like question of what makes objectivity possible? And if so, what was his answer? I think Quine did have an answer, which is in fact a central theme in his philosophy. For his epistemology was not concerned with the question whether we have knowledge of the external world. His philosophy takes for granted that physics provides the most fundamental account of reality that we have. And like many positivists including Carnap, he takes that sort of (...) question to have a fundamentally changed and newly tractable character. His more general epistemological question is what is actually involved in a human subject coming to have knowledge of the objective world, when limited to the deliverances of his or her own senses. Most of the story is well-known, but an essential link was not fully explicit until 1990s: the doctrine of Pre-Established Harmony. (shrink)