Cover of Essays in Philosophy
>> Go to Current Issue

Essays in Philosophy

Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2007
The Philosophy of Language

Table of Contents

Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:



Displaying: 1-20 of 22 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Steven Schroeder Introduction to Volume 8, Number 1
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Shyam Ranganathan Philosophy of Language, Translation Theory and a Third Way in Semantics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I address anew the problem of determinacy in translation by examining the Western philosophical and translation theoretic traditions of the last century. Translation theory and the philosophy of language have largely gone their separate ways (the former opting to rebrand itself as “translation studies” to emphasize its empirical and anti-theoretical underpinnings). Yet translation theory and the philosophy of language predominantly share a common assumption that stands in the way of determinate translation. It is that languages, not texts, are the objects of translation and the subjects of semantics. The way to overcome the theoretical problems surrounding the possibility and determinacy of translation is to marry the philosopher of language’s concern for determinacy and semantic accuracy in translation with the notion of a “text-type” from the translation theory literature. The resulting theory capable of explaining determinacy in translation is what I call the text-type conception of semantics (TTS). It is a novel alternative to the salient positions of Contextualism and Semantic Minimalism in the contemporary philosophy of language.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Matthew Crippen The Totalitarianism of Therapeutic Philosophy: Reading Wittgenstein Through Critical Theory
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Christopher Kelen Finding the Foreign Space of Poetry: In the Wood Where Things Have No Name
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Elvis Buckwalter Lacan: An Adapted Approach to Postmodern Language
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The following paper sets out to highlight the interconnectedness between philosophy and language through a demonstration on how Lacanian psychoanalysis can add texture to literary analysis. Because discourse is in constant flux, it is only natural that adapting a suitably compatible interpretive methodology becomes the norm for the study of language and literature. Unfortunately, adjusting one’s methods of literary critique according to the type of text to be analyzed is far from common practice. In the hopes that this issue might be discussed in further depth, this paper argues that a psychoanalytical approach to literary analysis is particularly well-adapted for the postmodern genre.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Robert M. Harnish Frege on Direct Quotation
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In a single short passage in "On Sense and Reference" Frege outlines his conception of direct quotation wherein words must not be taken as having their customary reference, but rather refer to the words themselves or the words of another speaker. What unifies these uses? What is the logical form of direct quotation sentences, and what is their analysis? How does this view fit in with Frege's general semantics? How far can it be extended? What problems does it face? We explore, if not completely answer, each of these questions."It can also happen, however, that one wishes to talk about the words themselves or their sense. This happens, for instance, when the words of another are quoted. One's own words then first designate words of the other speaker, and only the latter have their usual reference. We then have signs of signs. In writing, the words are in this case enclosed in quotation marks. Accordingly, a word standing between quotation marks must not be taken as having its ordinary reference," ("On Sense and Reference", 144)The above quotation contains virtually everything Frege has to say about quotation and it raises a number of issues --some terminological, some substantive. First, note that in the passage cited, Frege opens with a discussion of quotation in general ("talk about"), then ends with the specific case of quotation marks in writing. Most discussions of Frege have concentrated on quotation marks in writing, and we shall do so here, but ultimately a Fregean account will have to be more general, a point we will return to later. Second, Frege speaks of words enclosed in quotation marks as about "the words themselves" and also as about "words of another speaker". But as we will see, these need not be the same. However, because Frege moved so easily between them he may have thought that referring to the words themselves is involved in reporting the words of another speaker. At least this is an idea we will exploit later, but first some terminology.
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Keith Green, Richard Kortum Can Frege’s Farbung Help Explain the Meaning of Ethical Terms?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper we reach back to an earlier generation of discussions about both linguistic meaning and moral language to answer the still-current question as to whether and in what way some special non-descriptive feature comprises part of the semantics of identifiably ethical terms. Taking off from the failure of familiar meta-ethical theories, restricted as they are to the Fregean categories of Sense and Force (whether singly or in combination), we propose that one particular variety belonging to Frege’s humble semantic category of Farbung –– what Dummett calls Tone –– holds the key. Specifically, the kinds of expressions that Dummett dubs “expressives”, when properly understood as representing a speaker’s sentiment, solve the mystery not only of moral discourse, but of evaluative language, broadly construed. On this basis we account for moral language’s special relation to action motivation in ways that avoid Moore’s paradox and honor, in unasserted contexts, what Geach calls ‘the Frege point’. Commitments to the public and social character of natural language are also respected.
8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
José Medina How to Undo Things with Words: Infelicitous Practices and Infelicitous Agents
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper offers a new interpretation of Austin (the New Austin) that overcomes the Austin-Derrida debate by dissolving the dichotomy between construction and deconstruction and focusing on the notion of performative reconstruction. The essay also contains a discussion of the normative distinction between felicity and infelicity and how it affects the identity of speakers and agents. This discussion draws on recent Gender and Queer Theory and builds a bridge between the literature on identity and Speech Act Theory. The central argument in this paper proposes a negotiating model of performativity and a robust notion of discursive responsibility that underscores the intimate and unavoidable links between the semantic and the socio-political.
9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Adèle Mercier Meaning and Necessity: Can Semantics Stop Same-Sex Marriage?
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Stephen Rainey Austin, Grice and Strawson: Their shadow from Pittsburgh to Frankfurt
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Austin discusses the supposed opposition between performative and constative utterances in a paper delivered to a French audience in 1962 entitled Performative—Constative. It is his aim in this paper in a sense to recant his earlier views that such a distinction was clear. A translation of this paper made by G. J. Warnock appeared in 1972 in a collection of essays on the philosophy of language, edited by John Searle. Alongside this translation were criticisms and comments by P. F. Strawson and H. P. Grice. Taken altogether, I regard these papers as containing several important insights that have informed contemporary notions regarding meaning and communication, particularly as they are thought of by Brandom and Habermas. I follow the course of Austin's discussion in assessing the status of the distinction that gives his paper its name and consider its merits, as well as drawing upon some of Strawson's and Grice's thoughts on the matter. After these discussions, I hope that it shall be clear how indebted to these past thinkers are those important theorists of our time.
book reviews
11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
David Boersema Review of Pragmatism, Old and New, ed. Susan Haack, assoc. ed. Robert Lane
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Anca Gheaus Review of Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality and Species Membership, by Martha Nussbaum
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Michael F. Goodman Review of The Nature of Truth, ed. Michael P. Lynch
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
14. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Brian Gregor Review of Philosophical Myths of the Fall, by Stephen Mulhall
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
15. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Robert Luyster Review of The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality, by David Tacey
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
16. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Allison Merrick Review of The Death of God and the Meaning of Life, by Julian Young
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
17. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Richard Patterson, Katherine Thomas Review of The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, by Margaret Boden
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
18. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Eric M. Rovie Review of The Right In the Good: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value, by Robert Audi
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
19. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Steven Schroeder Review of Philosophy Americana: Making Philosophy at Home in American Culture, by Douglas R. Anderson
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
20. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Steven Schroeder Review of A Philosophy of Culture: The Scope of Holistic Pragmatism, by Morton White
view |  rights & permissions | cited by