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Philosophy of Language: A Contemporary Introduction, 2nd Edition 2nd Edition

3.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415957526
ISBN-10: 0415957524
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This exceptional text fulfills two essential criteria of a good introductory textbook in the philosophy of language: it covers a broad range of topics well, all of which are the basis of current active research, and does so in an accurate manner accessible to undergraduate students."  –Mike Harnish, University of Arizona

"...an excellent textbook for teaching. the examples throughout are delightful and students will love them."  –Edwin Mares, Victoria University of Wellington
 

 

About the Author

William G. Lycan is William Rand Kenan Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of over 150 articles as well as seven books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2nd edition (April 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415957524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415957526
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read various works on philosophy, language, and philosophy of language, but this introduction really gives a terrific summary of the key topics and core "camps" in the discipline. This is a definite recommended read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was very helpful to me during my Philosophy of Language course. I plan to continue reading the sections not covered in lecture. It provides a good introduction and explanation of different subjects.
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By rbnn on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lambent survey of philosophy of language.

More concrete and easier to understand than most I've seen. I think this is a useful and very clear introduction to the concepts. As with many philosophical treatments, of the form "is A a B", it's rarely clear to me what has been resolved when there is no clear definition of "B" here or test for whether the right answer is found. For example, whether a name can refer to a non-existent, and whether James Moriarty "exists" are the kinds of questions that I fail to see can be resolved, as they depend on what one means by "exists".

But within these constraints, it's an excellent survey and I highly recommend the book.
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By jbshaw on October 3, 2015
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On time and as advertised.
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Format: Paperback
Do not buy this book if you are unfamiliar with the topic of "philosophy of language". In my opinion, this book kind of sucks. For one, in chapter 2 the author starts discussing Russell's views (from On Denoting) on Frege's ideas, and then in chapter 3 discusses Frege's views. Personally, I found this to be very annoying, especially since Frege's views and ideas started much of the debate the "philosophy of language". It does not make any sense, in terms of organization, when you start the discussion in the middle of the debate, which I feel this book basically does.
The book may be concise and raise the main points, but that does not mean that the book is well written, or gives the topic a credible and understandable foundation. This is especially important when we are talking about a subject like the philosophy of language. I mean, the subject itself is very complicated (e.g. how can we discuss a topic, like language, when we are using language to figure the topic out; think about it for a minute). Anyways, I just feel that this book makes the topic more complicated than it needs to be, and most people who pick up this book will probably read some of it and feel bewildered by the subject matter (which although complicated does not mean that it is something most people cannot understand and think about).
If you are looking for better books, check out "The Game of the Name", by Gregory McCulloch, or "Philosopy of Language", by Alexander Miller. McCulloch's book is very straitforward, and he makes his points and ideas clear throughout. Miller's book is very readible and is a very good introduction for anyone interested in the topic (for one, he actually introduces the logical terminology at the beginning and gives a very simple and readable overview of logical notation).
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