Philosophy of language

languagephilosopher of languagetheory of referencelanguage philosophyphilosophers of languagephilosophical semanticsreferenceLanguage theoryPhilosophythe Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of language in the analytical tradition explored logic and accounts of the mind at the end of the nineteenth century, with English-speaking writers Frege and Russell being pivotal, followed by Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists, and Quine, while on the continent a foundation work was Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, published posthumously in 1916.wikipedia
630 Related Articles

Ludwig Wittgenstein

WittgensteinWittgensteinianCount of Wittgenstein
Philosophy of language in the analytical tradition explored logic and accounts of the mind at the end of the nineteenth century, with English-speaking writers Frege and Russell being pivotal, followed by Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists, and Quine, while on the continent a foundation work was Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, published posthumously in 1916.
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.

Language

languageslinguisticlinguistic diversity
The scope of Philosophy of Language may include inquiry into the origins of language, the nature of meaning, the usage and cognition of language.
Questions concerning the philosophy of language, such as whether words can represent experience, have been debated at least since Gorgias and Plato in ancient Greece.

Bertrand Russell

RussellRussell, Bertrand16 Questions on the Assassination
Philosophy of language in the analytical tradition explored logic and accounts of the mind at the end of the nineteenth century, with English-speaking writers Frege and Russell being pivotal, followed by Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists, and Quine, while on the continent a foundation work was Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, published posthumously in 1916.
His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.

Speech act

speech actsspeech act theoryIndirect speech act
Specific interests include the topics of language learning, language creation, and speech acts.
A speech act in linguistics and the philosophy of language is an utterance that has performative function in language and communication.

Meaning (philosophy of language)

meaningtheory of meaningmeanings
Major topics in the philosophy of language include the nature of meaning, intentionality, reference, the constitution of sentences, concepts, learning, and thought. The ideational theory of meaning, most commonly associated with the British empiricist John Locke, claims that meanings are mental representations provoked by signs. Although this view of meaning has been beset by a number of problems from the beginning (see the main article for details), interest in it has been renewed by some contemporary theorists under the guise of semantic internalism.
In the philosophy of language, the nature of meaning, its definition, elements, and types, was discussed by philosophers Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.

Pragmatics

pragmaticpragmaticallylinguistic pragmatics
Further, syntactic propositions are arranged into 'discourse' or 'narrative' structures, which also encode meanings through pragmatics like temporal relations and pronominals.
Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, linguistics and anthropology.

Principle of compositionality

compositionalitycompositionalcompositional semantics
Philosophical semantics tends to focus on the principle of compositionality to explain the relationship between meaningful parts and whole sentences.
In mathematics, semantics, and philosophy of language, the principle of compositionality is the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its constituent expressions and the rules used to combine them.

John Searle

SearleJohn R. SearleSearle, John
The use theory of meaning, most commonly associated with the late Ludwig Wittgenstein, helped inaugurate the idea of "meaning as use", and a communitarian view of language. Wittgenstein was interested in the way in which the communities use language, and how far it can be taken. It is also associated with P. F. Strawson, John Searle, Robert Brandom, and others.
Widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and social philosophy, he began teaching at UC Berkeley in 1959.

Donald Davidson (philosopher)

Donald DavidsonDavidsonDavidson, D.
The truth-conditional theory of meaning holds meaning to be the conditions under which an expression may be true or false. This tradition goes back at least to Frege and is associated with a rich body of modern work, spearheaded by philosophers like Alfred Tarski and Donald Davidson.
His work exerted considerable influence in many areas of philosophy from the 1960s onward, particularly in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and action theory.

Semantics

semanticsemanticallymeaning
Semantic trees, on the other hand, focus upon the role of the meaning of the words and how those meanings combine to provide insight onto the genesis of semantic facts.
In the philosophy of language, semantics and reference are closely connected.

Hilary Putnam

PutnamPutnam, Hilaryinternal realism
The reference theory of meaning, also known collectively as semantic externalism, views meaning to be equivalent to those things in the world that are actually connected to signs. There are two broad subspecies of externalism: social and environmental. The first is most closely associated with Tyler Burge and the second with Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke and others.
He made significant contributions to philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science.

Robert Brandom

Bob BrandomBrandomBrandom, Robert
The use theory of meaning, most commonly associated with the late Ludwig Wittgenstein, helped inaugurate the idea of "meaning as use", and a communitarian view of language. Wittgenstein was interested in the way in which the communities use language, and how far it can be taken. It is also associated with P. F. Strawson, John Searle, Robert Brandom, and others.
He works primarily in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and philosophical logic, and his work manifests both systematic and historical interests in these topics.

Philosophical Investigations

use theory of meaningbeetle in a boxduck-rabbit illusion
The use theory of meaning, most commonly associated with the late Ludwig Wittgenstein, helped inaugurate the idea of "meaning as use", and a communitarian view of language. Wittgenstein was interested in the way in which the communities use language, and how far it can be taken. It is also associated with P. F. Strawson, John Searle, Robert Brandom, and others.
He puts forth the view that conceptual confusions surrounding language use are at the root of most philosophical problems, contradicting or discarding much of what he argued in his earlier work, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921).

Saul Kripke

KripkeKripke, SaulKripkean
The reference theory of meaning, also known collectively as semantic externalism, views meaning to be equivalent to those things in the world that are actually connected to signs. There are two broad subspecies of externalism: social and environmental. The first is most closely associated with Tyler Burge and the second with Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke and others.
Since the 1960s, Kripke has been a central figure in a number of fields related to mathematical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, and set theory.

Semantic externalism

semantic externalistssemantic internalism
The reference theory of meaning, also known collectively as semantic externalism, views meaning to be equivalent to those things in the world that are actually connected to signs. There are two broad subspecies of externalism: social and environmental. The first is most closely associated with Tyler Burge and the second with Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke and others. The ideational theory of meaning, most commonly associated with the British empiricist John Locke, claims that meanings are mental representations provoked by signs. Although this view of meaning has been beset by a number of problems from the beginning (see the main article for details), interest in it has been renewed by some contemporary theorists under the guise of semantic internalism.
In the philosophy of language, semantic externalism (the opposite of semantic internalism) is the view that the meaning of a term is determined, in whole or in part, by factors external to the speaker.

Gottlob Frege

FregeFrege, GottlobFregean
Philosophy of language in the analytical tradition explored logic and accounts of the mind at the end of the nineteenth century, with English-speaking writers Frege and Russell being pivotal, followed by Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), the Vienna Circle and the logical positivists, and Quine, while on the continent a foundation work was Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, published posthumously in 1916. The truth-conditional theory of meaning holds meaning to be the conditions under which an expression may be true or false. This tradition goes back at least to Frege and is associated with a rich body of modern work, spearheaded by philosophers like Alfred Tarski and Donald Davidson.
His contributions to the philosophy of language include:

Charles Sanders Peirce

PeirceC. S. PeirceCharles Peirce
A pragmatic theory of meaning is any theory in which the meaning (or understanding) of a sentence is determined by the consequences of its application. Dummett attributes such a theory of meaning to Charles Sanders Peirce and other early 20th century American pragmatists.
He saw logic as the formal branch of semiotics, of which he is a founder, which foreshadowed the debate among logical positivists and proponents of philosophy of language that dominated 20th century Western philosophy; additionally, he defined the concept of abductive reasoning, as well as rigorously formulated mathematical induction and deductive reasoning.

Michael Dummett

DummettDummett, MichaelSir Michael Dummett
The verificationist theory of meaning is generally associated with the early 20th century movement of logical positivism. The traditional formulation of such a theory is that the meaning of a sentence is its method of verification or falsification. In this form, the thesis was abandoned after the acceptance by most philosophers of the Duhem–Quine thesis of confirmation holism after the publication of Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". However, Michael Dummett has advocated a modified form of verificationism since the 1970s. In this version, the comprehension (and hence meaning) of a sentence consists in the hearer's ability to recognize the demonstration (mathematical, empirical or other) of the truth of the sentence.
He wrote on the history of analytic philosophy, notably as an interpreter of Frege, and made original contributions particularly in the philosophies of mathematics, logic, language and metaphysics.

Indexicality

indexicalindexindexicals
Logically proper names are such terms as I, now, here and other indexicals.
In semiotics, linguistics, anthropology and philosophy of language, indexicality is the phenomenon of a sign pointing to (or indexing) some object in the context in which it occurs.

Descriptivist theory of names

descriptivismdescription theories of proper namesdescription theory of proper names
Despite the differences between the views of Frege and Russell, they are generally lumped together as descriptivists about proper names.
In the philosophy of language, the descriptivist theory of proper names (also descriptivist theory of reference) is the view that the meaning or semantic content of a proper name is identical to the descriptions associated with it by speakers, while their referents are determined to be the objects that satisfy these descriptions.

Tyler Burge

BurgeBurge, TylerT. Burge
The reference theory of meaning, also known collectively as semantic externalism, views meaning to be equivalent to those things in the world that are actually connected to signs. There are two broad subspecies of externalism: social and environmental. The first is most closely associated with Tyler Burge and the second with Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke and others.
Burge has made contributions to many areas of philosophy, including the philosophy of mind, philosophy of logic, epistemology, philosophy of language, and the history of philosophy.

Rigid designator

rigid designatorsrigid designationrigidity
Hence, names are rigid designators, according to Kripke.
In modal logic and the philosophy of language, a term is said to be a rigid designator or absolute substantial term when it designates (picks out, denotes, refers to) the same thing in all possible worlds in which that thing exists and does not designate anything else in those possible worlds in which that thing does not exist.

Paul Grice

GriceGriceanHerbert Paul Grice
The "knowledge-first" position can be found, for instance, in the work of Paul Grice.
Herbert Paul Grice (13 March 1913 – 28 August 1988), usually publishing under the name H. P. Grice, H. Paul Grice, or Paul Grice, was a British philosopher of language, whose work on meaning has influenced the philosophical study of semantics.

Verificationism

verificationverification principleverificationist
The verificationist theory of meaning is generally associated with the early 20th century movement of logical positivism. The traditional formulation of such a theory is that the meaning of a sentence is its method of verification or falsification. In this form, the thesis was abandoned after the acceptance by most philosophers of the Duhem–Quine thesis of confirmation holism after the publication of Quine's "Two Dogmas of Empiricism". However, Michael Dummett has advocated a modified form of verificationism since the 1970s. In this version, the comprehension (and hence meaning) of a sentence consists in the hearer's ability to recognize the demonstration (mathematical, empirical or other) of the truth of the sentence.
Logical positivists garnered the verifiability criterion of cognitive meaningfulness from young Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language posed in his 1921 book Tractatus, and, led by Bertrand Russell, sought to reformulate the analytic–synthetic distinction in a way that would reduce mathematics and logic to semantical conventions.

Jerry Fodor

FodorFodor, JerryFodorian
Further, this view is closely associated with Jerry Fodor and his language of thought hypothesis.
Although Fodor originally rejected the idea that mental states must have a causal, externally determined aspect, in his later years he devoted much of his writing and study to the philosophy of language because of this problem of the meaning and reference of mental contents.