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.
Chapter 3: Logical Truth and Analyticity
Logical Truth and Analyticity
3.1. Unconditional and Contingent Truths
Philosophers have long since distinguished between two types of true propositions, namely, propositions that are true unconditionally and propositions that are true only contingently. Examples of the first kind are as follows:
(1) It is not raining or it is raining.
(2) If Smith is a bachelor, he is not married.
To ascertain that (1) and (2) are true, there is no need to consider extralinguistic facts, for (1) and (2)'s truth is guaranteed by their meaning alone. In this respect, they are unlike[Page 51]
(3) The current U.S. president is from Arkansas,
which is only true if corroborated by the facts. However, there is an important difference between (1) and (2). To determine whether (1) is true, we ...