• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This auspicious new volume is designed for linguists who are interested in the deeper issues of their science. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy lays a solid foundation of linguistic philosophy presenting theories of leading linguistic analysts such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, and Quine. I. E. MackenzieÆs exploration into these theories equips readers for advanced work on most topics in semantics and the study of language. The structure of this book reflects the fact that the philosophical study of language is not systematic, but centers on aspects of language that are considered to be of fundamental conceptual significance. Therefore, this book need not be read in any specific order. Whenever a chapter presupposes an understanding of something that is explained elsewhere in the book, a specific cross-reference is given. MackenzieÆs approach to the philosophy of language stresses the importance of observing how language is used rather than the assuming that it conforms to a pre-existing logical structure. In addition to dealing with foundational issues, such as truth, meaning, and the nature of language, this book explores specific linguistic phenomenaùdescriptions, names, non-extesional contexts and quantificationùwhich have attracted considerable philosophical attention. Introduction to Linguistic Philosophy is a student-centered resource that is recommended for students in linguistics, communication, and philosophy.

Meaning and the Nature of Language
Meaning and the nature of language
1.1. What is Meaning?
1.1.1. Wittgenstein's Paradox

Arithmetic, logic, and language—indeed, any form of conceptual knowledge—find expression in symbolic systems. The spoken words of the English language, for example, are symbols that happen to have an acoustic form. Now, it is readily seen that whenever we use symbols meaningfully, we follow rules at every turn. For example, figurative uses apart, if someone employs the word ‘table’ in accordance with its meaning, he or she will use the word for some things and withhold it from others, and a certain regularity will be apparent in the linguistic behavior. From this we can infer that the person is following, tacitly or otherwise, a rule that governs how the ...

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