In this book one of the world's foremost philosophers of
language presents his unifying vision of the field--its principal
achievements, its most pressing current questions, and its most
promising future directions. In addition to explaining the progress
philosophers have made toward creating a theoretical framework for
the study of language, Scott Soames investigates foundational
concepts--such as truth, reference, and meaning--that are central
to the philosophy of language and important to philosophy as a
whole. The first part of the book describes how philosophers from
Frege, Russell, Tarski, and Carnap to Kripke, Kaplan, and Montague
developed precise techniques for understanding the languages of
logic and mathematics, and how these techniques have been refined
and extended to the study of natural human languages. The book then
builds on this account, exploring new thinking about propositions,
possibility, and the relationship between meaning, assertion, and
other aspects of language use.
An invaluable overview of the philosophy of language by one of
its most important practitioners, this book will be essential
reading for all serious students of philosophy.
Subjects: Philosophy, Linguistics
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