• 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.

Propositional Attitudes
Propositional attitudes
9.1. What Are Propositional Attitudes?

The term ‘propositional attitude’ refers to what is expressed by such forms as ‘believes that’, ‘says that’, ‘is surprised that’, ‘wishes that’, and ‘urges that’ (and their equivalents in other languages). What characterizes a propositional-attitude sentence is the assertion of a relation between an agent (a believer, an urger, a fearer, and so on) and a proposition. (We use the term ‘proposition’ informally, without commitment to any philosophical doctrine of propositions.)

Propositional attitudes are apt to create contexts in which preferential expressions are not necessarily interchangeable salva veritate (with truth preserved) and, in addition, they are subject-oriented rather than impersonal like the modalities (see the previous chapter). On both these scores, propositional-attitude expressions are similar to such verbs as ...

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