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Jerry H. Gill

Words, Deeds, Bodies by Jerry H. Gill concentrates on the interrelationships between speech, accomplishing tasks, and human embodiment. Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michael Polanyi have all highlighted these relationships. This book examines the, as yet, unexplored connections between these authors’ philosophies of language. It focuses on the relationships between their respective key ideas: Wittgenstein’s notion of “language game,” Austin’s concept of “performative utterances,” Merleau-Ponty’s idea of “slackening the threads,” and Polanyi's understanding of “tacit knowing,” noting the similarities and differences between and amongst them.

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Rosa Maria Calcaterra

Richard Rorty’s “neo-pragmatism” launched a powerful challenge to entrenched philosophical certainties of modernity, articulating a powerful picture of normativity as a distinctive activity of human beings. This “contingentism,” with its emphasis on indeterminacy, ambiguity, uncertainty, and chance, depicts normativity as a practical human possibility rather than a metaphysical bottleneck which we must overcome at the cost of repudiating the concrete ways we grant epistemic and ethical meaning to our activities. The book is a critical survey of Rorty’s philosophy, in light of contemporary theoretical debates around language, truth, justification, and naturalism, as well as his own resourceful attempts to renew philosophy from within by using the conceptual tools and argumentative techniques of both analytic philosophy and pragmatism.

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Roberto Pinzani

The problem of universals is one of the main philosophical issues. In this book the author reconstructs the history of the problem considering a selection of medieval representative texts and authors. The source of medieval and postmedieval debate is identified in the Socratic-Platonic survey on the definition of concepts. In the Categories, Aristotle discusses important topics concerning the relations that exist between logical terms. In particular he establishes a kind of predication principle: categorial terms have a certain predication relation if (and only if) some facts expressed by ordinary sentences hold. The Categories also because of their particular disciplinary status, halfway between logic and metaphysics, leave a number of questions open. Among these questions, a particularly intriguing one is Porphyry’s riddle: are there genera and species? And, if there are such things, what are they like?