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by Colin McGinn

Download Philosophy of Language: The Classics Explained (MIT Press) fb2, epub

ISBN: 026202845X
Author: Colin McGinn
Language: English
Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (January 16, 2015)
Pages: 240
Category: Humanities
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 474
Size Fb2: 1734 kb
Size ePub: 1375 kb
Size Djvu: 1980 kb
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Colin McGinn has taught philosophy at institutions of higher learning including University College London, Rutgers University, and Oxford University.

Colin McGinn has taught philosophy at institutions of higher learning including University College London, Rutgers University, and Oxford University.

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The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. This book was set in Stone by the MIT Press.

2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England. 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It can be used in conjunction with an anthology of classic texts, sparing the instructor much arduous exegesis.

McGinn discusses works by Frege, Kripke, Russell, Donnellan, Kaplan, Evans, Putnam, Tarski, Davidson, and Grice. Other important thinkers such as Wittgenstein and Meinong arise in the process of exegesis, though they are marginal figures in the text.

Release Date:January 2015.

book by Colin McGinn. Release Date:January 2015.

An introduction to philosophy of language through systematic and accessible explanations of ten classic texts by such thinkers as Frege, Kripke, Russell, and Putnam.

Many beginning students in philosophy of language find themselves grappling with dense and difficult texts not easily understood by someone new to the field. This book offers an introduction to philosophy of language by explaining ten classic, often anthologized, texts. Accessible and thorough, written with a unique combination of informality and careful formulation, the book addresses sense and reference, proper names, definite descriptions, indexicals, the definition of truth, truth and meaning, and the nature of speaker meaning, as addressed by Frege, Kripke, Russell, Donnellan, Kaplan, Evans, Putnam, Tarski, Davidson, and Grice. The explanations aim to be as simple as possible without sacrificing accuracy; critical assessments are included with the exposition in order to stimulate further thought and discussion.

Philosophy of Language will be an essential resource for undergraduates in a typical philosophy of language course or for graduate students with no background in the field. It can be used in conjunction with an anthology of classic texts, sparing the instructor much arduous exegesis.

ContentsFrege on Sense and Reference • Kripke on Names • Russell on Definite Descriptions • Donnellan's Distinction • Kaplan on Demonstratives • Evans on Understanding Demonstratives • Putnam on Semantic Externalism • Tarski's Theory of Truth • Davidson's Semantics for Natural Language • Grice's Theory of Speaker Meaning

Comments:

Styphe
These are lecture notes made readable. Each chapter discusses a different seminal paper in the philosophy of language. The chapters all have the same format: background information, main ideas of the paper, and critiques by the author and other philosophers.

The text assumes little about the reader's background. Each time the text introduces an idea, it explains the idea in a few different ways. In most texts, if you didn't understand a paragraph, you're best off rereading the paragraph and preceding material until you do make sense of it. With this text, you're better off to just keep reading, as the text angle the offer authors may clear up the confusion.

I have an extensive background in logic, but this is my first text on semantics. Most of the concepts were new to me. After reading this book, I thumbed through the Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Language and found myself have a basic grasp of the problems under discussion. I'm a bit surprised that such a quick introduction gave me such a good framework for exploring the subject.
RED
I could not digest this in one reading, although I read if fairly quickly. By no stretch of the imagination is this an 'easy read' for someone who has no philosophical background. The book confirmed my belief that what makes philosophy so impenetrable are the plethora of neologisms & special meanings given to words that have ordinary meanings, and McGinn explains these admirably. I must say, though, that I found some of the explanations unnecessary belabored....maybe I was missing some deeper points....as when he explains why to say that the meaning of Snow is white is that Snow is white is not a tautology. These and some other prolix explanations, frankly, were to my mind tedious and rather boring: enough already! I found myself saying to myself. I was disappointed to read noting about Grice's conversational implicatures, and it left me wondering if there were other key ideas about other philosophers' works that were not discussed. All in all it was an excellent book, and it made me understand at a much deeper level Wittgenstein's contention that much of the confusion in philosophy can be traced to the ambiguity of language, which reminds me to note, I was surprised that McGinn had almost nothing to say about Wittgenstein.
skriper
This achieves what it sets out to in the introduction: to provide a summary of the reading selections and identify a few issues with the arguments in the selections. And it could easily be used in the manner the introduction suggests, namely as a companion volume to a collection of papers in philosophy of language for a philosophy course. Given the nature of the project, though, it cannot (and does not) discuss all of the prominent objections and replies that are relevant to the works being examined, so instructors should not expect to rely on this text alone for lecture notes.
Abandoned Electrical
As one would expect from a distinguished philosopher who has spent a lifetime working in the field, the book is a comprehensive and insightful account of the history and development of the subject. His reviews are accurate and stimulate reflection of what relevance the ideas have in the present day. In its reviews and explanations it is a thought provoking book
mym Ђудęm ęгσ НuK
That’s me. I read most of these books decades ago and they are on my library shelves. But it turned out that my real job in life was not in a philosophy dept., but in bookbinding and restoration. I had the good luck to teach adjunct at a local university most of my adult life. So I kept up. The technical aspects of the philosophy of language, however, lingered only as a bunch of vague generalizations. I am, perhaps like the bright and interested undergraduate for which this book is issued. Sixty years older,.
One person I have followed is Colin McGinn. Some of his articles are distressingly academic. Mostly, he is a very clear writer. So it is in this book of critiques of linguistic heroes. I’ve read a few other histories of 20th cent philosophy recently, tho I’m no longer in the game, and I think this is the best. My technical philosophy reading is down to a half a dozen a year, but this was a joy.
As a bookbinder by profession and a general admirer of well-made books, this is a bad production, artifact-wise. Can carry it around in your back pack, I suppose, and resell it for $2, but it’s not going to look pretty nestled among your OUP clothbounds. I wouldnt mention it if MIT was selling it for $20 instead $30. That's text book publishing fer ya. Oh, well.
P.S., Having now finished the book:
!) I realized that Wittgenstein wasn't part of the readings (not a problem for me, since Luki's always in my consciousness, anyway, and, hey, how can you treat him as one among many?)
2) it is a particular published selection of texts the volume is meant to accompany, not the works of the philosophers under consideration (explaining the totally textbook production)
3) I put the book down on the concrete and forgot it as my spouse watered the plants. The backpack format, while unattractive, has its upside, as it's good as new. You could use it as a coaster. A gaudy one, though.
4) my remark that its a good history of the last century was a little overblown. I did appreciate the review, but, obviously, there's been a lot more in the last hundred years than phi of language.

p.s., an excellent and laudatory review of this book by R. Goldstein in the NYRB Oct. 8, '15.
Felolak
A perfect book to teach basics on Philosophy of Language for XX and XXI Century.
Sataxe
Useful reminder of things I knew many years ago; useful introduction to some things I had never learned.
One of the better texts on philosophy of language.

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