Linguistics and Philosophy

Linguistics and Philosophy

The Controversial Interface

1st Edition - June 1, 1993

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  • Editors: R. Harré, R. Harris
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483299228

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As hopes that generative linguistics might solve philosophical problems about the mind give way to disillusionment, old problems concerning the relationship between linguistics and philosophy survive unresolved. This collection surveys the historical engagement between the two, and opens up avenues for further reflection. In Part 1 two contrasting views are presented of the interface nowadays called 'philosophy of linguistics'. Part 2 gives a detailed historical survey of the engagement of analytic philosophy with linguistic problems during the present century, and sees the imposition by philosophers of an 'exploratory' model of thinking as a major challenge to the discipline of linguistics. Part 3 poses the problem of whether linguistics is dedicated to describing independently existing linguistic structures or to imposing its own structures on linguistic phenomena. In Part 4 Harris points out some similarities in the way an eminent linguist and an eminent philosopher invoke the analogy between languages and games; while Taylor analyses the rationale of our metalinguistic claims and their relationship to linguistic theorizing. Providing a wide range of views and ideas this book will be of interest to all those interested and involved in the interface of philosophy and linguistics.


For philosophers and linguists interested and involved in the interface between the two disciplines.

Table of Contents

  • Preface, (R. Harré & R. Harris). Demarcation Disputes. What is philosophy of linguistics? (R. Harris). Why is there no 'true' philosophy of linguistics? (S. Auroux & D. Kouloughli). Philosophical Approaches. Analytic philosophy and language, (N. Capaldi). Solving and dissolving: patrolling the boundaries of language, (R. Harré). Linguistic creativity, (R. McDonough). Linguistic Approaches. Analysis and notation: the case for a non-realist linguistics, (C. Hutton). Negativism as an effective methodology in linguistic description, (J.F.W. Mulder). Processualism in linguistic theory and method, (H.S. Straight). Convergences? Saussure, Wittgenstein and la règle du jeu, (R. Harris). Why we need a theory of language, (T.J. Taylor). Author index.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 266
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Pergamon 1993
  • Published: June 1, 1993
  • Imprint: Pergamon
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483299228

About the Editors

R. Harré

R. Harris

Affiliations and Expertise

Oxford, UK. E-mail:

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