The basic conflict: an initial characterization -- The main arguments against ordinarylanguage philosophy -- Must philosophers rely on intuitions? -- Contextualism and the burden of knowledge -- Contextualism, anti-contextualism, and knowing as being in a position to give assurance -- Conclusion: skepticism and the dialectic of (semantically pure) "knowledge" -- Epilogue: ordinarylanguage philosophy, Kant, and the roots of antinomial thinking.
Amie Thomasson and Eli Hirsch have both attempted to deflate metaphysics, by combining Carnapian ideas with an appeal to ordinarylanguage. My main aim in this paper is to critique such deflationary appeals to ordinarylanguage. Focussing on Thomasson, I draw two very general conclusions. First: ordinarylanguage is a wildly complicated phenomenon. Its implicit ontological commitments can only be tackled by invoking a context principle; but this will mean that ordinarylanguage (...) ontology is not a trivial enterprise. Second: ordinarylanguage often points in different directions simultaneously, so that a wide variety of existence questions cannot be deflated merely by appealing to ordinarylanguage. (shrink)
The paper builds on a methodological idea from experimental philosophy and on findings from psycholinguistics, to develop and defend ordinarylanguage analysis (OLA) as practiced in J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia. That attack on sense-datum theories of perception focuses on the argument from illusion. Through a case-study on this paradoxical argument, the present paper argues for a form of OLA which is psychologically informed, seeks to expose epistemic, rather than semantic, defects in paradoxical arguments, and is immune to (...) the main objections to ordinarylanguage philosophising, including those arising from the semantic/pragmatics distinction: A key project in current experimental philosophy is to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions that help us determine what warrant thinkers have for accepting them. Psycholinguistic work on the role of stereotypes in verb-comprehension has shown that intuitive judgments can be generated by automatic cognitive processes that duplicate both semantic and pragmatic inferences and are shaped by dominant uses of words. For systematic reasons, philosophers are prone to unwittingly deviate from such dominant uses. Where this happens, they are liable to automatically infer unwarranted conclusions that strike them as intuitively compelling. OLA helps us to determine those dominant uses, to identify unwitting deviations from them, and thus to expose unwarranted intuitions – e.g., in the premises of paradoxical arguments. Ordinarylanguage does not determine the bounds of sense but shapes our leaps of thought. The paper shows how this enables its ‘Austinian’ analysis to contribute to a novel, epistemic, resolution of philosophical paradoxes and problems. (shrink)
There is a widespread assumption that ordinarylanguage philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory. Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinarylanguage philosophy are alive and flourishing but going by various aliases – in particular (some versions of) ‘contextualism’ and (some versions of) ‘experimental philosophy’. And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the (...) title as well as the methods of ordinarylanguage philosophy and arguing that it has been unfairly maligned and was never decisively refuted. In this overview, I will outline the main projects and arguments employed by contemporary ordinarylanguage philosophers and make the case that updated versions of the arguments made by ordinarylanguage philosophers in the middle of the 20th century are attracting renewed attention. (shrink)
The construction and analysis of arguments supposedly are a philosopher's main business, the demonstration of truth or refutation of falsehood his principal aim. In Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin does something entirely different: He discusses the sense-datum doctrine of perception, with the aim not of refuting it but of 'dissolving' the 'philosophical worry' it induces in its champions. To this end, he 'exposes' their 'concealed motives', without addressing their stated reasons. The paper explains where and why this at first sight (...) outrageous aim and approach are perfectly sensible, how exactly Austin proceeds, and how his approach can be taken further. This shows Austin to be a pioneer of the currently much discussed notion of philosophy as therapy, reveals a subtle and unfamiliar use of linguistic analysis that is not open to the standard objections to ordinarylanguage philosophy, and yields a novel and forceful treatment of the sense-datum doctrine. (shrink)
For OrdinaryLanguage philosophy, at issue is the use of the expressions of language, not expressions in and of themselves. So, at issue is not, for example, ordinary versus (say) technical words; nor is it a distinction based on the language used in various areas of discourse, for example academic, technical, scientific, or lay, slang or street discourses – ordinary uses of language occur in all discourses. It is sometimes the case that an (...) expression has distinct uses within distinct discourses, for example, the expression ‘empty space’. This may have both a lay and a scientific use, and both uses may count as ordinary; as long as it is quite clear which discourse is in play, and thus which of the distinct uses of the expression is in play. Though connected, the difference in use of the expression in different discourses signals a difference in the sense with which it is used, on the OrdinaryLanguage view. One use, say the use in physics, in which it refers to a vacuum, is distinct from its lay use, in which it refers rather more flexibly to, say, a room with no objects in it, or an expanse of land with no buildings or trees. However, on this view, one sense of the expression, though more precise than the other, would not do as a replacement of the other term; for the lay use of the term is perfectly adequate for the uses it is put to, and the meaning of the term in physics would not allow speakers to express what they mean in these other contexts. (shrink)
The ‘OrdinaryLanguage’ philosophy of the early 20th century is widely thought to have failed. It is identified with the broader so-called ‘linguistic turn’, a common criticism of which is captured by Devitt and Sterelny (1999), who quip: “When the naturalistic philosopher points his finger at reality, the linguistic philosopher discusses the finger.” (p 280) The implication is that according to ‘linguistic’ philosophy, we are not to study reality or truth or morality etc, but the meaning of the (...) words ‘reality’, ‘truth’, ‘morality’ etc. OrdinaryLanguage philosophy has fallen so thoroughly into disrepute because it is supposed to advocate that not only are we to study words and meanings rather than the phenomena themselves (which is apparently bad enough), but we must restrict that study to words and meanings as they occur in the language used by the ordinary speaker. A number of preposterous corollaries have been taken to follow from this view. Most seriously, perhaps, and irritatingly, is that any theory which contains ‘non-ordinary’ uses of expressions is thereby ‘meaningless’ or simply false – which is clearly absurd. In this paper I show that this is a completely inaccurate picture of OrdinaryLanguage philosophy. My aim is to correct these persistent misinterpretations, and make possible a more sensible reassessment of the philosophy. (shrink)
One can attack a philosophical claim by identifying a misuse of the language used to state it. I distinguish between two varieties of this strategy: one belonging to Norman Malcolm and the other to Ludwig Wittgenstein. The former is flawed and easily dismissible as misled linguistic conservatism. It muddies the name of ordinarylanguage philosophy. I argue that the latter avoids this flaw. To make perspicuous the kind of criticism of philosophical claims that the second variety makes (...) available, I draw a comparison between Wittgenstein’s recommendation that philosophers study ordinarylanguage and Alfred Schütz’s recommendation that social scientists study the methods of the agents they study. Both do so in an attempt to sensitise philosophers and social scientists respectively to particular artefacts of method which can be easily mistaken for features of that which is studied. (shrink)
What is philosophy about and what are its methods? _Philosophy and Ordinary Language_ is a defence of the view that philosophy is largely about questions of language, which to a large extent means _ordinary_ language. Some people argue that if philosophy is about ordinarylanguage, then it is necessarily less deep and difficult than it is usually taken to be but Oswald Hanfling shows us that this isn't true. Hanfling, a leading expert in the development (...) of analytic philosophy, covers a wide range of topics, including scepticism and the definition of knowledge, free will, empiricism, folk psychology, ordinary versus artificial logic, and philosophy versus science. Drawing on philosophers such as Austin, Wittgenstein, and Quine, this book explores the nature of ordinarylanguage in philosophy. (shrink)
In this rich collection of philosophical writings, Stanley Rosen addresses a wide range of topics—from eros, poetry, and freedom to problems like negation and the epistemological status of sense perception. Though diverse in subject, Rosen’s essays share two unifying principles: there can be no legitimate separation of textual hermeneutics from philosophical analysis, and philosophical investigation must be oriented in terms of everyday language and experience, although it cannot simply remain within these confines. Ordinary experience provides a minimal criterion (...) for the assessment of extraordinary discourses, Rosen argues, and without such a criterion we would have no basis for evaluating conflicting discourses: philosophy would give way to poetry. Philosophical problems are not so deeply embedded in a specific historical context that they cannot be restated in terms as valid for us today as they were for those who formulated them, the author maintains. Rosen shows that the history of philosophy—a story of conflicting interpretations of human life and the structure of intelligibility—is a story that comes to life only when it is rethought in terms of the philosophical problems of our own personal and historical situation. (shrink)
Frege, we are told, thinks that vague predicates have no referent (Bedeutung). But given other things he evidently believes, such a position would seem to commit him to a suspect nihilism according to which assertoric sentences containing vague predicates are neither true nor false. I argue that we have good reason to resist ascribing to Frege the view that vague predicates have no Bedeutung and thus good reason to resist seeing him as committed to the suspect nihilism. In the process, (...) I call attention to several under-appreciated texts in which Frege suggests that a vague predicate, though lacking a Bedeutung of its own, can come to acquire a Bedeutung in certain contexts. The upshot of this suggestion is that vague predicates can serve the purposes of ordinary communication quite well, even if they are useless for logical purposes. (shrink)
This paper explores some lines of argument in wittgenstein's post-Tractatus writings in order to indicate the relations between wittgenstein's philosophical psychology, On the one hand, And his philosophy of language, His epistemology, And his doctrines about the nature of philosophical analysis on the other. The authors maintain that the later writings of wittgenstein express a coherent doctrine in which an operationalistic analysis of confirmation and language supports a philosophical psychology of a type the authors call "logical behaviorism." they (...) also maintain that there are good grounds for rejecting the philosophical theory implicit in wittgenstein's later works. In particular, They first argue that wittgenstein's position leads to some implausible conclusions concerning the nature of language and psychology; second, They maintain that the arguments wittgenstein provides are inconclusive; and third, They sketch an alternative position which they believe avoids many of the difficulties implicit in wittgenstein's philosophy. (shrink)
There has been a long-standing dispute in the philosophical literature about the conditions under which a behavior counts as 'intentional.' Much of the debate turns on questions about the use of certain words and phrases in ordinarylanguage. The present paper investigates these questions empirically, using experimental techniques to investigate people's use of the relevant words and phrases. g.
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a consequence (...) of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinarylanguage surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
Recent theories of epistemic contextualism have challenged traditional invariantist positions in epistemology by claiming that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions fluctuate between conversational contexts. Contextualists often garner support for this view by appealing to folk intuitions regarding ordinary knowledge practices. Proposed is an experiment designed to test the descriptive conditions upon which these types of contextualist defenses rely. In the cases tested, the folk pattern of knowledge attribution runs contrary to what contextualism predicts. While preliminary, these data inspire (...) prima facie skepticism for the contextualist hypothesis regarding folk knowledge claims, as well as challenge certain predictions made by recent theories of subject-sensitive invariantism. It is further argued that such results raise methodological questions concerning the practice of relying on an assumption of intuitions, with respect to ordinarylanguage practices, as evidence for philosophical conclusions regarding knowledge. (shrink)
J.L. Austin is regarded as having an especially acute ear for fine distinctions of meaning overlooked by other philosophers. Austin employs an informal experimental approach to gathering evidence in support of these fine distinctions in meaning, an approach that has become a standard technique for investigating meaning in both philosophy and linguistics. In this paper, we subject Austin's methods to formal experimental investigation. His methods produce mixed results: We find support for his most famous distinction, drawn on the basis of (...) his `donkey stories', that `mistake' and `accident' apply to different cases, but not for some of his other attempts to distinguish the meaning of philosophically significant terms. We critically examine the methodology of informal experiments employed in ordinarylanguage philosophy and much of contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics, and discuss the role that experimenter bias can play in influencing judgments about informal and formal linguistic experiments. (shrink)
There is a common-sense view of language, which is held by Wittgenstein, Strawson Dummett, Searle, Putnam, Lewis, Wiggins, and others. According to this view a language consists of conventions, it is rule-governed, rules are conventionalised, a language is learnt, there are general learning mechanisms in the brain, and so on. I shall call this view the ‘ ordinarylanguage ’ view of language. Chomsky’s attitude towards this view of language has been rather negative, (...) and his rejection of it is a major motivation for the development of his own theory. In this paper I shall review Chomsky’s long-standing criticisms. I shall show that Chomsky’s argument does not constitute a dismissal of the ‘ordinarylanguage’ view of language, Chomsky’s conclusions about language do not follow from his argument, and the ‘ ordinarylanguage ’ view actually points to a promising way for us to understand the true nature of language and mind. (shrink)
It is unfortunate that Francis Y. Lin, in ‘Chomsky on the “ordinarylanguage” view of language’ pays little attention to his own remark, ‘Chomsky’s criticisms make us realize that we should not be content with general and vague formulations of convention, ability, and so on. We must make such notions precise and provide details’ Lin speaks so imprecisely and provides so few details of notions on which he relies heavily, such as ‘general learning mechanism’ and ‘sentence frame’, (...) that readers must employ large amounts of guesswork to place even a halfway specific interpretation on his proposals and claims. (shrink)
In Cavell (1994), the ability to follow and produce Austinian examples of ordinarylanguage use is compared with the faculty of perfect pitch. Exploring this comparison, I clarify a number of central and interrelated aspects of Cavell's philosophy: (1) his way of understanding Wittgenstein's vision of language, and in particular his claim that this vision is "terrifying," (2) the import of Wittgenstein's vision for Cavell's conception of the method of ordinarylanguage philosophy, (3) Cavell's dissatisfaction (...) with Austin, and in particular his claim that Austin is not clear about the nature and possible achievements of his own philosophical procedures, and (4) Cavell's notion that the temptation of skepticism is perennial and incurable. Cavell's reading of Wittgenstein is related to that of John McDowell. Like McDowell, Cavell takes Wittgenstein to be saying that the traditional attempt to justify our practices from an external standpoint is misguided, since such detachment involves losing sight of those conceptual and perceptual capacities in terms of which a practice is understood by its engaged participants. Unlike McDowell, however, Cavell consistently rejects the idea that philosophical clearsightedness can or should free us from that fear of groundlessness which motivates the traditional search for external justification. (shrink)
Drawing on J. L. Austin and the later works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, she argues for the solution provided by ordinarylanguage philosophy—a philosophy that trusts and utilizes the everyday use of language and the clarity of meaning it ...
It is widely acknowledged that the link between quantum language and ordinarylanguage must be "fuzzier" than the traditional eigenstate-eigenvalue link. In the context of spontaneous-collapse theories, Albert and Loewer argue that the form of this fuzzy link is a matter of convention, and can be freely chosen to minimize anomalies for those theories. I defend the position that the form of the link is empirical, and could be such as to render collapse theories idle. This means (...) that defenders of spontaneous-collapse theories must gamble that the actual form of the link renders such theories tenable. (shrink)
J.L. Austin is regarded as having an especially acute ear for fine distinctions of meaning overlooked by other philosophers. Austin employs an informal experimental approach to gathering evidence in support of these fine distinctions in meaning, an approach that has become a standard technique for investigating meaning in both philosophy and linguistics. In this paper, we subject Austin's methods to formal experimental investigation. His methods produce mixed results: We find support for his most famous distinction, drawn on the basis of (...) his ‘donkey stories’, that ‘mistake’ and ‘accident’ apply to different cases, but not for some of his other attempts to distinguish the meaning of philosophically significant terms. We critically examine the methodology of informal experiments employed in ordinarylanguage philosophy and much of contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics, and discuss the role that experimenter bias can play in influencing judgments about informal and formal linguistic experiments. (shrink)
There is a widespread assumption that ordinarylanguage philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory. Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinarylanguage philosophy are alive and flourishing, but going by various aliases—in particular "contextualism" and "experimental philosophy". And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the methods as well as the title of (...) class='Hi'>ordinarylanguage philosophy and arguing that it has been unfairly maligned and was never decisively refuted. In this overview, I will outline the main projects and arguments employed by contemporary ordinarylanguage philosophers, and make the case that updated versions of the arguments made by ordinarylanguage philosophers in the middle of the twentieth century are attracting renewed attention. (shrink)
I argue for the importance of clarifying the distinction between metaphysical, semantic, and meta-semantic concerns regarding what Emotion is. This allows us to see that those involved in the Scientific Emotion Project and the Folk Emotion Project are in fact involved in the same project – the Science of Emotion. It also helps us understand why questions regarding the natural kind status of Emotion, as well as answers to questions regarding the value of ordinarylanguage emotion terms or (...) concepts to emotion research, will not help resolve the observed crisis in the Science of Emotion. (shrink)
It is argued that the only response to the mereological objections of the ordinarylanguage philosopher available to the scientistic philosopher of mind requires the adoption of the view that ordinary psychological talk is theoretical and falsified by the findings of brain science. The availability of this sort of response produces a kind of stalemate between these opposed views and viewpoints: the claim that attribution of psychological predicates to parts of organisms is nonsense is met with the (...) claim that it is only nonsensical if our ordinary ways of talking are – naively – taken to be sacrosanct. The aim of the paper is to show that the ordinarylanguage philosopher has a reply here that the scientistic philosopher is not in a position to ignore. Namely, that the only way to resist mereological objections is to adopt conceptions of personhood that are inimical to naturalistic accounts of mentality. (shrink)
Taking as a point of departure a recently published collection of representative contributions from various philosophers who claim to ?proceed from ordinarylanguage?, this article examines ordinarylanguage philosophy in the light of some of the claims made by these philosophers. The claims are criticized mainly for failing to account for the variability of the use of terms in respect both of depth of intention and special contexts. These factors are such as to render the claims (...) in question false when interpreted as significant assertions about language, but trivial when they are interpreted as reasonable and true. (shrink)
The later Wittgenstein claimed to resolve philosophical problems through returning words to their 'ordinary' use. The paradox arises that Wittgenstein's own philosophy must be written in a philosophical language and, therefore, in an extra-ordinarylanguage. The paradox is discussed with particular reference to rules. Rules constitute language, but the account of the 'rule' itself leads to paradox and contradiction. A rule is followed and following a rule requires an interpretation. The interpretation of the rule requires (...) a decision. The decision precedes the rule, so it justifies following a rule but there cannot be a rule for the decision itself. (shrink)
If one were to try to imagine two philosophers of language who would be more opposed to each other than wittgenstein and heidegger, It would seem to be, At least at first glance, A quite difficult thing to do. After all the wittgenstein of the "investigations" stresses the "use" of words, Whereas heidegger emphasizes the exact opposite, That is, The role of the poetic in language, Which is to say the non-Use aspect of language. For wittgenstein (...) class='Hi'>ordinarylanguage is a kind of court of last resort beyond which no appeal is possible, While for heidegger the ordinarylanguage of our daily "usage" is all too frequently not authentic discourse which reveals ("rede"), But rather a trite sort of idle chatter which conceals ("gerede"). And so one might go on and on pointing out differences between these two great thinkers in their approaches to language, With the result that the very enterprise of attempting to bring them into some sort of dialogue which might prove mutually fruitful might seem, From the very outset, A questionable undertaking at best. (edited). (shrink)
The goal of tranquility through non-Assertion, Advocated by sextus empiricus, Is examined and his method criticized. His understanding of non-Assertion is compared with that of seng-Chao (383-414) and chi-Tsang (549-623). Zen buddhism shares the quest for tranquility, But offers more than sextus did to help us attain it, And avoids the excessively metaphysical thought of these two chinese buddhists. Wittgenstein, Whose goal was that philosophical problems completely disappear, And austin, Who rejected many standard western dichotomies, Offer a method superior to (...) that of sextus, Or to that of chi-Tsang and seng-Chao, But an ideal short of the tranquility sought by all the rest. The thought that zen buddhism and ordinarylanguage philosophy may be looking in the same direction is supported by appealing to john canfield's article "wittgenstein and zen" and his analysis of "understanding without thought.". (shrink)
What does ordinarylanguage philosophy contribute to the solution of the problems it diagnoses as violations of linguistic use? One of its biggest challenges has been to account for the epistemic asymmetry of mental states experienced by the subject of those states and the application of psychological properties to others. The epistemology of other minds appears far from resolved with reference to how sensation words are used in everyday language. In this paper, I revisit the Wittgensteinian arguments (...) and show how they engage the ordinarylanguage method (in the modified form of grammatical investigation) to ‘dissolve’ the problem. Several important results are generated by way of this reconstruction. An expressive view of the vocabulary of sensation is defended which facilitates a discussion of sensation discourse emphasising the normative grammatical conditions for the communication of psychological states. This motivates a reassessment of criterial justification for the ascription of psychological concepts in the third person. In the final sections, I mobilise a normative approach to expose the moral relevance of the epistemology of other minds. Even if it is conceded that belief in other minds lacks warrant from an epistemological standpoint, this does not justify adopting the skeptical attitude from an ethical standpoint. In light of this, a normative justification for the a priori belief that others are subjects of consciousness is defended. (shrink)
The order of influence from thesis to hypothesis, and from philosophy to the social sciences, has historically governed the way in which the abstraction and significance of language as an empirical object is determined. In this article, an argument is made for the development of a more reflexive intellectual relationship between ordinarylanguage philosophy and the social sciences that it helped inspire. It is demonstrated that, and how, the social scientific traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis press (...) OLP to re-consider the variety of problematic abstractions it has previously made for the sake of philosophical clarity, thereby self-reinvigorating. (shrink)
In "human beings", "studies in the philosophy of wittgenstein" (ed. By p winch), J cook presents a radical solution to the problem of other minds and then suggests that this treatment of the problem is to be found in the writings of wittgenstein. According to cook's interpretation, Wittgenstein's analysis of the problem does not involve in any essential way any special doctrines about criteria, Nor does it commit him to any form of behaviorism. In the course of arguing these theses, (...) Cook raises a number of objections to an earlier paper I wrote with j fodor entitled "operationalism and ordinarylanguage: a critique of wittgenstein", "american philosophical quarterly". In the present paper, I respond to cook's article by arguing that his solution to the problem of other minds is defective, By pointing out that some of his objections are based on misreadings of our paper, And by showing how the bulk of his objections are supported by confused arguments and implausible interpretations of wittgenstein's writings. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss Kant's and Bolzano's differing perspectives on ordinary natural language. I argue that Kant does not see ordinarylanguage as providing semantically organized content and that, as a result, Kant does not believe that ordinarylanguage is sufficiently well-developed to support philosophical analysis and definition. By contrast, for Bolzano, the content given in ordinarylanguage are richly structured entities he calls 'propositions in themselves'. This contrast in views is (...) used to explain Bolzano's criticism of Kant's belief that definition is impossible for philosophical concepts. It is also used to explain Bolzano's criticism of Kant's methods of exposition of philosophical concepts. (shrink)
The business of philosophical analysis is clarification, But explicators and ordinary-Language philosophers disagree about how to achieve it. Their mutual criticisms or attempts at arbitration are made at such a level of generality as to leave the basis for dispute or settlement obscure. By focusing on supposedly competing analyses of truth--Tarski's semantical and strawson's performative conceptions of truth--The paper makes clarification itself the subject of clarification in an attempt to determine the basis of dispute.
Reviews the book, Philosophy and ordinarylanguage: The bent and genius of our tongue by Oswald Hanfling . This book is in the Routledge Series in 20th Century Philosophy and it is a distinguished contribution to that series. It is in its own way an exemplary exercise in philosophical acumen and clarity. In thirteen chapters the reader is paced carefully through what are often the tares and snares of contemporary analytical philosophy, but for the express purpose of defending (...) "ordinarylanguage" philosophy against charges of inadequacy. As the expression goes, if you have time to read only one book this year on the vexed question of meaning, this is the one. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
One purpose of this article is to correct the current false assumption that ordinarylanguage is a self-Contained, Self-Sufficient, Absolute framework. Most of the article is devoted to showing how developments in the physical sciences from copernicanism to relativity theory have affected revisions in our conceptual framework, Imposing new representations of the world on our thought. It is suggested that these developments imply a relational conception of the universe described as "contextualistic realism". The challenge facing philosophers today is (...) to revise ordinarylanguage to accommodate recent developments in physics conveying a radically different conception of the universe than that imposed by ordinarylanguage. (shrink)
Many writers assume one of the major functions (if not the major function) of ethical theory is to analyze the “ordinarylanguage”; of moral discourse. This paper argues that different social groups develop quite different concepts of values; that there are many “ordinary languages.”; What analysts often in practice arc concerned with is middle-class ethical usage. In addition, it is argued that widely accepted moral usages may be incorrect because they are based on faulty empirical generalizations, pre-scientific (...) opinions, or socially-determined prejudices. “Ordinarylanguage”; needs to be viewed critically, therefore, rather than to be assumed as correct. (shrink)
Sandra Laugier has long been a key liaison between American and European philosophical thought, responsible for bringing American philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Stanley Cavell to French readers—but until now her books have never been published in English. _Why We Need OrdinaryLanguage Philosophy_ rights that wrong with a topic perfect for English-language readers: the idea of analytic philosophy. Focused on clarity and logical argument, analytic philosophy has dominated the discipline in the (...) United States, Australia, and Britain over the past one hundred years, and it is often seen as a unified, coherent, and inevitable advancement. Laugier questions this assumption, rethinking the very grounds that drove analytic philosophy to develop and uncovering its inherent tensions and confusions. Drawing on J. L. Austin and the later works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, she argues for the solution provided by ordinarylanguage philosophy—a philosophy that trusts and utilizes the everyday use of language and the clarity of meaning it provides—and in doing so offers a major contribution to the philosophy of language and twentieth- and twenty-first-century philosophy as a whole. (shrink)
Wittgenstein: From Mysticism to OrdinaryLanguage presents the Tractatus as a work of mystic theology intended to direct the reader to a transcendental plane from which human existence can be viewed from the divine perspective. More than any other work on Wittgenstein, this study integrates text material with personal biographical information, especially information dealing with his spiritual and psychological states. The result is a fresh, coherent, and extremely illuminating picture of Wittgenstein, successfully avoiding the pitfalls of either psychological (...) reductionism or unfaithfulness to the text. It is bold without being reckless, passionately argued without being doctrinaire, and makes a very powerful and persuasive case for its main thesis. (shrink)
I present the features of the ordinary use of 'knows' that make a compelling case for the contextualist account of that verb, and I outline and defend the methodology that takes us from the data to a contextualist conclusion. Along the way, the superiority of contextualism over subject-sensitive invariantism is defended, and, in the final section, I answer some objections to contextualism.