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May 02 , 2010

Linguistics and Philosophy: The Controversial Interface


As hopes that generative linguistics might solve philosophical problems about the mind give way to disillusionment, old problems concerning the relationship between linguistics and philosophy survive unresolved. This collection surveys the historical engagement between the two, and opens up avenues for further reflection.In Part 1 two contrasting views are presented of the interface nowadays called 'philosophy of linguistics'.Part 2 gives a detailed historical survey of the engagement of analytic philosophy with linguistic problems during the present century, and sees the imposition by philosophers of an 'exploratory' model of thinking as a major challenge to the discipline of linguistics.Part 3 poses the problem of whether linguistics is dedicated to describing independently existing linguistic structures or to imposing its own structures on linguistic phenomena.In Part 4 Harris points out some similarities in the way an eminent linguist and an eminent philosopher invoke the analogy between languages and games; while Taylor analyses the rationale of our metalinguistic claims and their relationship to linguistic theorizing.Providing a wide range of views and ideas this book will be of interest to all those interested and involved in the interface of philosophy and linguistics.
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