Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction
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Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Philosophy of Language introduces the student to the main issues and theories in twentieth-century philosophy of language. Topics are structured in three parts in the book. Part I, Reference and Referring Expressions, includes topics such as Russell's Theory of Desciptions, Donnellan's distinction, problems of anaphora, the description theory of proper names, Searle's clus...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 31st 1999 by Routledge (first published 1999)
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Marcus Lira
This was the 2nd time I read this textbook, so I just want to share a random thought:

I couldn't help but chuckle every time William G. Lycan said David Cameron could be the British Prime Minister in a possible world. Turns out, just two years after he published this book, it happened to be true in this very world we live in. Who'd imagine philosophers can be clairvoyants too? :)
Matthieutc
Good book to get an overview of what the philosophers are talking about when they discuss language. For the serious reader, the author offers tough questions at the end of each chapter and also offers pointers to further readings. This is not an easy introduction. Below are my reading notes.

# High-level View
### What are the problems we need to solve with the philosophy of language?
- We need to come up with a way to talk about language so that we can solve the foregoing "four puzzles".
- We need t...more
Matthew
Lycan's introduction to the philosophy of language is fairly easy to read, but it is also not the most exciting book to pick up. The first third I found to be interesting, but as the book went on I found my attention drifting further and further away.



Of course he covers some of the most important figures in the field; how can you get through a Phi of Language book without referencing Davidson or Searle? Lycan also adds his own opinions into the mix, however, which subtly moves his position forwa...more
Arturo Javier
Como es de esperarse en una introducción, el libro es bastante claro. Me habría gustado tener el libro a la mano cuando cursaba la asignatura de filosofía del lenguaje en la licenciatura, ya que el material no es muy técnico y cubre considerablemente más terreno del que suele cubrirse en clase. Algo que me hubiera gustado ver en el libro (y que no vi) es una discusión más amplia sobre las proposiciones (en particular, sobre el debate proposiciones como conjuntos de mundos posibles vs proposicion...more
Rachael
This is a helpful and clear introduction to the topic. From Russel's theory of description, to proposition theory of meaning, Grice's psychological based theory of meaning, verificationism, to theories of pragmatic semantics and metaphor Lycan has an entertaining and clear presentation of major ideas, and objections.
Angela
a nice actually readable introduction ..
Marcus Lira
A magnific introduction to most of the important problems in contemporary philosophy of language (come to think of it, that's the best title this book could ever have)
Devon Fritz
This was a really interesting introduction to a lot of modern philosophical problems of language. I recommend it for anyone interested in linguistics.
Aaron
A great introduction to the philosophy of language and mind.
Matt
A clear and helpful introduction to the philosophy of language.
AC
Another introductory book -- and an excellent one.
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“Now (obviously) a sentence’s truth—even when we hold the sentence’s meaning fixed—depends on which world we are considering. “Brown is Prime Minister” is true in the actual world but, since Brown need not have been Prime Minister, there are countless worlds in which “Brown is Prime Minister” is false: in those worlds, Brown did not succeed Tony Blair, or never went into politics, or never even existed. And in some other worlds, someone else is Prime Minister — David Cameron, P. F. Strawson, me, Madonna, or Daffy Duck. In still others, there is no such office as Prime Minister, or not even a Britain; and so on and so forth. So a given sentence or proposition varies its truth-value from world to world.” 1 likes
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