An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language by Michael Morris

By Michael Morris

During this textbook, Michael Morris deals a severe advent to the principal problems with the philosophy of language. each one bankruptcy focusses on one or texts that have had a seminal effect on paintings within the topic, and makes use of those as a fashion of coming near near either the primary subject matters and a few of the traditions of facing them. Texts contain vintage writings via Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Grice and Wittgenstein. Theoretical jargon is stored to a minimal and is totally defined at any time when it really is brought. the diversity of issues coated contains feel and reference, sure descriptions, right names, natural-kind phrases, de re and de dicto necessity, propositional attitudes, truth-theoretical methods to that means, radical interpretation, indeterminacy of translation, speech acts, intentional theories of which means, and scepticism approximately which means. The e-book might be beneficial to scholars and to all readers who're drawn to the character of linguistic that means.

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But there is a difficulty in understanding how (CP) can be true. This arises because Frege seems also to have implicitly endorsed a kind of converse principle, which we can call the Principle of Compositionality: (PC) There is no more to the meaning of a sentence than what is determined by the meanings of the words of which it is composed and the way in which they are arranged. (PC) is a statement of one of the most basic facts about language: that the meaning of sentences depends on the meaning of their component words.

Accepting 23 24 Thus Frege: ‘We say a sentence expresses a thought’ (‘Thoughts’, in his Collected Papers, p. 354). ‘U¨ber Sinn und Bedeutung’, p. 32. 25 If the notion of Sense is what is needed to solve Frege’s puzzle about informative identity statements, it must be characterized by means of Evans’s Intuitive Criterion of Difference. A true sentence is informative if you can understand it without thinking that it’s true. Two sentences differ in informativeness if you can understand both without thinking that they have the same truth-value.

And it will seem natural to think that a proper name could continue to have Sense, even if it has no referent, because, again, the condition for being its referent can continue to exist, even if nothing meets it. This is probably the orthodox account of Frege, and it certainly fits with much of what Frege says. But it leads to some awkwardness when we take proper account of (F3), the claim that definite descriptions and proper names are singular terms. This awkwardness makes it natural to suggest an alternative, but still broadly Fregean, account of Sense.

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