Chapter

Languages and Language

David Lewis

in Philosophical Papers Volume I

Published in print August 1983 | ISBN: 9780195032048
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833382 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195032047.003.0011
Languages and Language

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Lewis attempts the synthesis of two rival accounts: the thesis, according to which languages are a semantic system abstracted from the nature and history of human affairs; and the antithesis, according to which language is a rational, convention‐governed human social activity. Upon answering an extended series of objections, Lewis concludes that the philosophy of language is best understood as a single subject.

Keywords: artificial language; Chomsky; convention; grammar; Saul Kripke; natural language; philosophy of language; pragmatics; Quine; semantics; truthfulness

Chapter.  14312 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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