LINGUIST List 11.325

Wed Feb 16 2000

Books: Philosophy of Language, Syntax, Semantics

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <scottlinguistlist.org>


Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.

Directory

  1. Jud Wolfskill, Philosophy: The Linguistic Turn in Hermeneutic Philosophy, C. Lafont
  2. Jud Wolfskill, Syntax/Semantics: Economy and Semantic Interpretation, Danny Fox
  3. Jud Wolfskill, Semantics, Tense, and Time by Peter Ludlow

Message 1: Philosophy: The Linguistic Turn in Hermeneutic Philosophy, C. Lafont

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 13:49:34 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Philosophy: The Linguistic Turn in Hermeneutic Philosophy, C. Lafont

The following is a book which readers of this list might find of
interest. For more information please visit
http://mitpress.mit.edu/promotions/books/LAFLHF99


The Linguistic Turn in Hermeneutic Philosophy

Cristina Lafont

translated by Jos� Medina


The linguistic turn in German philosophy was initiated in the
eighteenth century in the work of Johann Georg Hamann, Johann
Gottfried von Herder, and Wilhelm von Humboldt. It was further
developed in this century by Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer
extended its influence to contemporary philosophers such as Karl-Otto
Apel and J�rgen Habermas. This tradition focuses on the
world-disclosing dimension of language, emphasizing its communicative
over its cognitive function.

Although this study is concerned primarily with the German tradition
of linguistic philosophy, it is very much informed by the parallel
linguistic turn in Anglo-American philosophy, especially the
development of theories of direct reference. Cristina Lafont draws
upon Hilary Putnam's work in particular to criticize the linguistic
idealism and relativism of the German tradition, which she traces back
to the assumption that meaning determines reference. Part I is a
reconstruction of the linguistic turn in German philosophy from Hamann
to Gadamer. Part II offers the deepest account to date of Habermas's
approach to language. Part III shows how the shortcomings of German
linguistic philosophy can be avoided by developing a consistent and
more defensible version of Habermas' theory of communicative
rationality.

Cristina Lafont is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern
University. She is the author of Sprache und Welterschliessung. Die
linguistische Wende der Hermeneutik Heideggers.


6 x 9, 378 pp., cloth ISBN 0-262-12217-0

Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought
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Message 2: Syntax/Semantics: Economy and Semantic Interpretation, Danny Fox

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 10:20:36 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Syntax/Semantics: Economy and Semantic Interpretation, Danny Fox

The following is a book which readers of this list might find of
interest. For more information please visit
http://mitpress.mit.edu/promotions/books/FOXEPF99


Economy and Semantic Interpretation

Danny Fox


In Economy and Semantic Interpretation, Danny Fox investigates the
relevance of principles of optimization (economy) to the interface
between syntax and semantics. Supporting the view that grammar is
restricted by economy considerations, Fox argues for various economy
conditions that constrain the application of "covert" operations.
Among other things, he argues that syntactic operations that do not
affect phonology cannot apply unless they affect the semantic
interpretation of a sentence. This position has a number of
consequences for the architecture of grammar. For example, it suggests
that the modularity assumption, according to which a language's syntax
must be characterized independently of its semantics, needs to be
revised. Another consequence concerns new answers to the question of
exactly where in the syntactic derivation the various constraints on
interpretation apply.
	

Danny Fox is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.


6 x 9, 208 pp., paper ISBN 0-262-56121-2, cloth ISBN 0-262-06206-2

Linguistic Inquiry Monographs No. 35

Copublished with the MIT Working Papers in Linguistics series

 
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Message 3: Semantics, Tense, and Time by Peter Ludlow

Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 13:48:47 -0400
From: Jud Wolfskill <wolfskilMIT.EDU>
Subject: Semantics, Tense, and Time by Peter Ludlow

The following is a book which readers of this list might find of
interest. For more information please visit
http://mitpress.mit.edu/promotions/books/LUDSHF99


Semantics, Tense, and Time

An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language

Peter Ludlow


According to Peter Ludlow, there is a very close relation between the
structure of natural language and that of reality, and one can gain
insights into long-standing metaphysical questions by studying the
semantics of natural language. In this book Ludlow uses the
metaphysics of time as a case study and focuses on the dispute between
A-theorists and B-theorists about the nature of time. According to
B-theorists, there is no genuine change, but a permanent sequence of
events ordered by an earlier-than/later-than relation. According to
the version of the A-theory adopted by Ludlow (a position sometimes
called "presentism"), there are no past or future events or times;
what makes something past or future is how the world stands right now.

	

Peter Ludlow is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at
the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


6 x 9, 264 pp., cloth ISBN 0-262-12219-7

A Bradford Book

 
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