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Traditional and Analytical Philosophy: Lectures on the Philosophy of Language Paperback – January 14, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0521125734 ISBN-10: 0521125731 Edition: 1st
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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Ernst Tugendhat was trained in the Heideggerian modes of phenomenological and hermeneutical thinking. Yet increasingly he came to believe that the most appropriate approach was from within the framework of analytical philosophy. This book grew out of that conviction, and as such it brought a fresh perspective to some of the rarely examined assumptions and methods of analysis.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521125731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521125734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Adler on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
This great work was first published in 1976, in German.

Like Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, Ernst Tugendhat is steeped in both "continental" (Tugendhat's preferred term is 'traditional') and analytical philosophy. Tugendhat argues that the philosophy of language (as semantics of natural language) is "ontology's legitimate successor" (p. 31). This displacement of ontology by the philosophy of language also transforms Heidegger's account of human understanding: indeed, speaking about the Lectures in the preface to the 1992 collection of his papers, Tugendhat says that they "represent an attempt to take up in new fashion Heidegger's question concerning the unitary structure of understanding" (E. T., "Philosophische Aufsätze" (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1992), p. 12)).

Written in limpid prose, this remains the most systematic and historically oriented treatise on the (analytical) philosophy of language. Its account of the semantic behavior of singular terms is unmatched to this day. I also consider this work to be the most illuminating and fruitful attempt made so far to bridge the divide between the "continental" and analytical ways of philosophizing. This book is single-handledly responsible for ushering analysis into Germany and France, and many other parts of Europe (in France, it was reviewed by Vincent Descombes (see the reference below) before he published "Grammaire d'objets en tous genres" and by Jacques Bouveresse).

The work contains many discussions of Aristotle, Frege, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Austin, Strawson, Searle, and, to a lesser extent, of Heidegger. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of language.

See Richard Rorty's enthusiastic and informative review of the book in "The Journal of Philosophy" 82 (1985), pp. 720-729. Another great review of the book is that of Vincent Descombes, "La philosophie comme science rigoureusement descriptive," in "Critique" 407 (1981), pp. 351-375
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Traditional and Analytical Philosophy: Lectures on the Philosophy of Language
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