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The Philosophy of Language Paperback – December 22, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0195188301 ISBN-10: 0195188306 Edition: 5th

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Editorial Reviews


"After nurturing several generations of philosophy of language students, this is arguably still the best sourcebook in the field. It is ideal for, if not indispensable to, the first course in the discipline."--Yuri Balashov, University of Georgia (on the previous edition)

About the Author

A.P. Martinich is Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 5 edition (December 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195188306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195188301
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 1.6 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Bob Carpenter on October 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Anyone serious about meaning in language should read these articles. They provide a baseline on which all other work builds. Whether you are interdisciplinary or only care about linguistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence or cognition, this book is one must-read paper after another.
I used it for both my graduate semantics and undergraduate philosophy of language classes at Carnegie Mellon. You can read these papers on your own -- they're actually very accessible for papers on philosophy and do not require any prior logical background (though an intro to logic would surely help). Taken together, this book is the perfect basis for a quarter, semester or whole year of philosophy of language.
The book's organized into sections on Truth and Meaning (Quine's classic paper on empiricism, Church on intensionality, Davidson and Strawson on truth and Tarski on semantics), Speech Acts (Austin on Performatives, Searle on Speech Acts, Grice on cooperation), Reference and Descriptions (Frege on sense and reference, Russell on denoting and descriptions with Strawson's reply on referring), Names and Demonstratives (Kripke on Naming and necessity and Putnam on meaning and reference), Propositional attitudes (Quine and Kaplan on quantifiers, Davidson and Kripke on propositional content, and Barwise and Perry on situation semantics), Metaphor (Davidson's classic paper, though I believe the second edition contained Searle's excllent paper on metaphor), Interpretation (Quine on meaning and Searle on indeterminancy), and the Nature of Language with what's left (Wittgenstein and Kripke on privacy, and Chomsky on semantic innateness).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edited by Al Martinich `The Philosophy of Language' is an anthology of classic essays in the modern analytic philosophy of language tradition. The following comments pertain to the 5th edition of the text published in 2008.

This is the best collection of its type that I have come across. While the selection of essays to include in these types of anthologies is a difficult task, Martinich is successful in capturing the traditions seminal works and key thinkers, e.g. Frege, Russell, Church, Tarski, Quine, Strawson, Kripke, Searle etc. Potential purchasers are advised to review the available on-line table of contents prior to purchase - most of these essays have been published in various formats and collections.

An earlier reviewer had remarked that these essays are accessible. And, while I agree that they are not inaccessible, approaching them without out a background in analytic philosophy or a skilled guide may be a daunting and frustrating task. While at its core the philosophy of language is concerned with the basic question of how language connects to the world, when notions such as meaning, reference and truth are examined the subject rapidly becomes complex and heavily nuanced. With respect to reading aids, two potential guides that come to mind are, Lycan's `Philosophy of Language' (Routledge Contemporary Introductions series) and Searle's UC Berkley lectures available through itunes.

Overall an outstanding anthology - highly recommended for students of the philosophy of language - a handy collection of important essays.
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By Erik on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This made for an excellent collection of reference material for writing an upper-level introductory paper on semantics and language topics.
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