Cognitive Linguistics and Philosophy

Peter Harder

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738632
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Cognitive Linguistics and Philosophy


How one sees the relationship between cognitive linguistics and philosophy depends on what one takes to be the role and nature of philosophy. The approach followed in this article is the one presented by J. L. Austin: viewing philosophy as constituting the overarching arena for discussions about the nature of the world and our knowledge about it, within which independent disciplines have gradually crystallized into domains of their own. This article addresses some of the basic concerns of philosophy, including the relationship between ontology and epistemology. Thinking about the mind is historically bound up with dilemmas that span all these levels, with a rough polarity between, on the one hand, idealism and rationalism, which share a commitment to mental foundations of understanding, and on the other hand, empiricism, which takes actual experience, entering the mind via the senses, as the foundation of knowledge. This article also discusses linguistics and the philosophy of science in the twentieth century.

Keywords: cognitive linguistics; philosophy; J. L. Austin; ontology; epistemology; science; idealism; rationalism; empiricism

Article.  12037 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Pragmatics ; Semantics

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