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Philosophy of Language

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This unique textbook introduces linguists to key issues in the philosophy of language. Accessible to students who have taken only a single course in linguistics, yet sophisticated enough to be used at the graduate level, the book provides an overview of the central issues in philosophy of language, a key topic in educating the next generation of researchers in semantics and pragmatics. Thoroughly grounded in contemporary linguistic theory, the book focus on the core foundational and philosophical issues in semantics and pragmatics, richly illustrated with historical case studies to show how linguistic questions are related to philosophical problems in areas such as metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Students are introduced in Part I to the issues at the core of semantics, including compositionality, reference and intentionality. Part II looks at pragmatics: context, conversational update, implicature and speech acts; whilst Part III discusses foundational questions about meaning. The book will encourage future collaboration and development between philosophy of language and linguistics.

The first philosophy of language textbook on the market to cater to both linguists and philosophers

Enables linguistics and philosophers to identify topics of shared concern and areas for collaboration

Provides a comprehensive glossary of terms, void of unnecessary jargon

Includes a complimentary website of additional resources including handouts for in class use and discussion questions

Edition Number:
Szabo Zoltan Gendler
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Zoltán Gendler Szabó is Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics at Yale University, Connecticut. His research focuses on philosophy of language. He is an editor of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy series and associate editor of the Journal of Semantics.

Richmond H. Thomason is Professor of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He has written two logic textbooks, and edited several books in areas related to logic and linguistics. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and a managing editor of Studia Logica.


Part I. Philosophy of Semantics:

1. Frege and Tarski

2. Compositionality

3. Reference and quantification

4. Tense and modality

5. Intentionality

Part II. Philosophy of Pragmatics:

6. Austin and Grice

7. Context and content

8. Common ground and conversational update

9. Implicature and figurative speech

10. Assertion and other speech acts

Part III. Meaning as a Philosophical Problem:

11. Meaning and use

12. Externalism and internalism

13. Paradox and vagueness.

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