Epistemology of Language by Alex Barber

Epistemology of Language

EditorAlex Barber

Paperback | November 17, 2003

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What must linguistic knowledge be like if it is to figure in the description and explanation of the various phenomena pre-theoretically classified as linguistic? All linguists and philosophers of language presuppose some answer to this critical question, but all too often the presupposition istacit. In this collection of sixteen previously unpublished essays, a distinguished international line-up of philosophers and linguists address a variety of interconnected themes concerning our knowledge of language:Knowledge in linguistics: Noam Chomsky's claim that ordinary speakers possess complex structures of linguistic knowledge was a trigger for the cognitive revolution nearly fifty years ago. This and an associated claim, that linguistics is essentially in the business of rendering such knowledgeexplicit, have been the target of an evolving series of sceptical objections ever since.Understanding: Is linguistic understanding a special kind of semantic knowledge? If so, what kind? Topics covered include the viability of recent attempts to fuse Chomsky's cognitivism with Davidson's truth-theoretic approach to interpretation; the merging of linguistic and non-linguistic meaning innon-sentential speech; linguistic understanding as a kind of perception; and the objectivity of semantic knowledge.Linguistic externalism: Some regard externalist intuitions about reference as a vital contribution to our understanding of language, mind, and metaphysics; others see them as a curious but relatively unimportant component of folk linguistics, where the folk are late-twentieth-century analyticphilosophers. So just what is the relation between externalist intuitions and our grasp of language?Epistemology through language: The linguistic turn in philosophy may have come full circle, but advances in epistemology and other areas of philosophy can still take the form of a better appreciation of language and our relation to it.

About The Author

Alex Barber is in the Department of Philosophy, Open University.

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Title:Epistemology of LanguageFormat:PaperbackDimensions:552 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.1 inPublished:November 17, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199250588

ISBN - 13:9780199250585

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Table of Contents

1. Alex Barber: IntroductionPart One: Knowledge in Linguistics2. Louise M. Antony: Rabbit-Pots and Supernovas: On the Relevance of Psychological Data to Linguistic Theory3. Stephen Laurence: Is Linguistics a Branch of Psychology?4. Michael Devitt: Linguistics is Not Psychology5. Georges Rey: Intentional Content and a Chomskian Linguistics6. Robert J. Matthews: Does Linguistic Competence Require Knowledge of Language?Part Two: Understanding7. Paul M. Pietroski: The Character of Natural Language Semantics8. Reinaldo Elugardo and Robert J. Stainton: Grasping Objects and Contents9. Stephen Schiffer: Knowledge of Meaning10. Elizabeth Fricker: Understanding and Knowledge of What is Said11. Alex Barber: Truth Conditions and Their RecognitionPart Three: Linguistic Externalism12. Peter Ludlow: Externalism, Logical Form, and Linguistic Intentions13. Gabriel Segal: Ignorance of Meaning14. Jessica Brown: Externalism and the Fregean TraditionPart Four: Epistemology through Language15. Alexander Miller: What is the Acquistion Argument?16. James Higginbotham: Remembering, Imagining, and the First Person