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Dummett: Philosophy of Language

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Learn more - opens in a new window or tab Postage: May not post to Germany - Read item description or contact seller for postage options. According to Mill , proper names such as of people of places have only a denotation and no connotation, and that a sentence which refers to a mythical creature, for example, has no meaning and is neither true nor false because it has no referent in the real world. Gottlob Frege was an advocate of a mediated reference theory , which posits that words refer to something in the external world, but insists that there is more to the meaning of a name than simply the object to which it refers.

Frege divided the semantic content of every expression including sentences into two components: Sinn usually translated as "sense" and Bedeutung "meaning", "denotation" or "reference". The sense of a sentence is the abstract , universal and objective thought that it expresses, but also the mode of presentation of the object that it refers to. The reference is the object or objects in the real world that words pick out, and represents a truth-value the True or the False.

Senses determine reference , and names that refer to the same object can have different senses. Bertrand Russell , like Frege , was also a Descriptivist of sorts, in that he held that the meanings or semantic contents of names are identical to the descriptions associated with them by speakers and a contextually appropriate description can be substituted for the name. But he held that the only directly referential expressions are what he called "logically proper names" such as "I", "now", "here", and other indexicals terms which symbolically point to or indicate some state of affairs.

He described proper names of people or places as abbreviated definite descriptions the name standing in for a more detailed description of who or what the person or place really is , and considered them not to be meaningful on their own and not directly referential. Saul Kripke - has argued against Descriptivism on the grounds that names are rigid designators and refer to the same individual in every possible world in which that individual exists.

Philosophical semantics the study or science of meaning in language tends to focus on the principle of compositionality in order to explain the relationship between meaningful parts and whole sentences. The principle asserts that a sentence can be understood on the basis of the meaning of the parts of the sentence words or morphemes along with an understanding of its structure syntax or logic.

Dummett : philosophy of language / Karen Green | National Library of Australia

Therefore, the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its constituent expressions and the rules used to combine them. Functions can also be used to describe the meaning of a sentence: a propositional function is an operation of language that takes an entity or subject as an input and outputs a semantic fact or proposition. There are two general methods of understanding the relationship between the parts of a linguistic string and how it is put together:.


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Most philosophers have been more or less skeptical about formalizing natural languages, and thus allowing the use of formal logic to analyze and understand them, although some, including Alfred Tarski - , Rudolf Carnap - , Richard Montague - and Donald Davidson - , have developed formal languages , or formalized parts of natural language, for investigation. Some, like Paul Grice - , have even denied that there is a substantial conflict between logic and natural language. However, in the s and s, the Ordinary Language Philosophy movement, whose main proponents were P.

Strawson - , John Austin - and Gilbert Ryle , stressed the importance of studying natural language without regard to the truth-conditions of sentences and the references of terms. They believed that language is something entirely different to logic, and that any attempts at formalization using the tools of logic were doomed to failure.

Austin developed a theory of speech acts , which described the kinds of things which can be done with a sentence assertion, command, inquiry, exclamation in different contexts of use on different occasions , and Strawson argued that the truth-table semantics of the logical connectives do not capture the meanings of their natural language counterparts. A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks. Random Quote of the Day:. Back to Top.

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Karen Green is to be thanked and commended for this lucid and accessible account of the main features of Dummett's system of thought. She explains how Dummett has developed theses from Frege and Wittgenstein, about objectivity, normativity, systematicity, publicity, and the dependence of thought on language. She traces also significant points of contact and contention with Husserl, Brouwer, Quine and Davidson.

PHILOSOPHY: Jacques Derrida

She explains the anti-realist misgiving that truth cannot be bivalent for a language in which meaning derives from use, and does much to prevent the frequent confusion of anti-realism with subjective idealism or phenomenalism. All in all, this is a remarkable exposition and development of the views of one of the most important philosophers of our age. Green's discussion of thhese issues offer a well argued and remarkable cohesive perspective on the great breadth of Dummett's work.

Undetected country. NO YES. Dummett: Philosophy of Language. Selected type: E-Book. Added to Your Shopping Cart. Michael Dummett stands out among his generation as the only British philosopher of language to rival in stature the Americans, Davidson and Quine. In conjunction with them he has been responsible for much of the framework within which questions concerning meaning and understanding are raised and answered in the late twentieth-century Anglo-American tradition.

Dummett's output has been prolific and highly influential, but not always as accessible as it deserves to be. This book sets out to rectify this situation. Table of contents Introduction. Fregean Foundations.