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Studies in the Way of Words Paperback – May 1, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0674852716 ISBN-10: 0674852710
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book comprises a revised version of the late author's 1967 William James Lectures, published for the first time; reprints of 12 papers, some slightly revised; and a 1987 retrospective commentary on three aspects of the papers. The lectures are a detailed examination of assertion, implication, and meaning; and the papers discuss ordinary language philosophy, meaning, conversational implicature, the philosophy of perception, and metaphysics. In the lectures, Grice emphasizes that language serves many important functions besides scientific inquiry, distinguishes different sorts of meaning, and theorizes about the kinds of implication that our utterances exemplify in ordinary conversation. The papers analyze numerous topics, including different kinds of meaning. Grice's writing is pellucidly clear, his analyses subtle, and his arguments detailed and rigorous. For all major philosophy collections.
- Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Grice was a miniaturist who changed the way other people paint big canvases. The question of correct scale is ultimately one of intellectual judgment, and in this his magisterial, fastidious prose rebukes those of us who want to move faster. [His] work culminated in the William James lectures delivered at Harvard in 1967, and philosophers will he grateful for having them finally available in one volume, Studies in the Way of Words, together with many other of Grice's papers, and a retrospective epilogue, written within two years of his death. (Simon Blackburn Times Literary Supplement)

Some philosophers are important because they have produced an important article or an important theory; others are important because, in addition to producing articles and theories, they have minds that "scintillate" in a certain way. Grice is a philosopher of this second and greater type... Grice's intellect, power, and charm are all vehicles for conveying a vision of philosophy, a vision that has much to say to analytic philosophers today. (Hilary Putnam, Harvard University)

In interest and power this book far exceeds most publications of our time. (P. F. Strawson Synthése)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674852710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674852716
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Adam Kramer on May 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
Studies in the Way of Words, by Paul Grice, is a collection of papers by the late British philosopher of linguistics. His concepts such as the Maxims of Conversation and the basic ideas behind presupposition and implicature are vital to a robust understanding of communication through language.
As a philosophical text, Grice's work is a bit difficult to plow through. His prose is quite full of flourishes and there's enough amusing references in there to keep an interested reader going, however the reader must indeed be interested for this book to be of much use. Anyone expecting to fully digest any of the papers in this book would do well to plan on reading it 3 or 4 times. However, if done successfully, the concepts you'll take from it will indeed do much to expand your view of how linguistic communication works.
Rated 5 stars for its philosophical importance and 2 for readability, the 4-star rating given here is a sort of weighted average.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. C. Moulder on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This collection of papers have provided a spine for much work in pragmatics and the philosophy of language ever since they were published. Logic & Conversation, in particular, has helped to shape an entire field. Speaking against ordinary language philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Grice provided a wealth of vital distinctions, most of which have remained unshaken. In addition, and unlike many similar collocations of papers, there is a sense of cohesion to the volume, put in order as it was by Grice himself.

A classic, and requisite reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Randall on July 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For any research about pragmatics and language use, you really need this one by Grice, as it is the standard in the field that everyone refers back to! Although not really recent, it is a good reference work and useful for studies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teagenes on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are in linguistics field called pragmatics largerly known laws or statements. They are refered to the studies Paul Grice did in those fieds. Here I found them on the authors terms. I learned about Grice's laws earlyer but it was good to read about them hearing from the voice of Paul Grice himself.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Wallace on August 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Grice was regarded by colleagues in philosophy as one of the brightest mean who never wrote. He, like John Wisdom, was an exceptionally brillant and nuanced man who (psychologist neede) would not publish.

What a shame. Maybe this in some small way fills a large gap.
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