A Philosophical Examination of Language Essay

A Philosophical Examination of Language Essay

Length: 3566 words (10.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Philosophical Examination of Language

"Philosophy is language idling."
—Ludwig Wittgenstein
Language and philosophy have an intimate connection to one another; without a philosophical examination of the meanings and structure of language, we cannot easily ascertain the objective truth of the statements we make, nor can we usefully discuss abstract concepts. The philosophy of language seeks to understand the concepts expressed by language and to find a system by which it can effectively and accurately do so. This is more difficult than it appears at first; philosophers are looking for a theory of language which avoids the minute errors of meaning and usage which occur in all discussions of abstract concepts and which tend to lead those discussions into complicated dead-ends.

Since so much of philosophy is currently concerned with the linguistic representation of reality, the bond between the philosophical and the linguistic is growing stronger. Philosophers can only write syntax for the languages they want to use in expressing theory with some knowledge of linguistics; and linguists can use philosophical principles to solve problems of meaning and syntax (Moravcsik 89). This strong link can be exploited to the advantage of both sides.

In recent history philosophers have struggled with the question of precision in language and have sought to construct a system under which meanings can be discussed without danger of falling into circular or metaphysical traps. Two major approaches to this question have arisen in scientific circles of the twentieth century. Logical empiricism, also known as logical positivism, seeks to produce a language which consists of symbols combined precisely in accordance with sp...

... middle of paper ...

...ohns Hopkins P, 1969.

Katz, Jerrold J. The Philosophy of Language. New York: Harper & Row, 1966.
Malcolm, Norman. Nothing is Hidden: Wittgenstein's Criticism of his Early Thought. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986.

Moravcsik, J.M.E. Understanding Language: A Study of Theories in Linguistics and in Philosophy. The Hague: Mouton, 1975.

Qadir, C.A. Logical Positivism. Lahore: Ripon P, 1965.

Quine, Willard van Orman. "Two Dogmas of Empiricism." Readings in the Philosophy of Language. Eds. Jay F. Rosenberg & Charles Travis. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1971.

Rahim, Syed Ataur. Logical Positivism and Metaphysics. Hussainabad/Karachi: Rahim P, 1990.

Sengupta, Kalyan Kumar. Language and Philosophy. Bombay: Allied P, 1969.

Stevens, Allan. On Belief. [Online] Available http://www.duke.edu/~kellogg/Classes/Mentation/Issue1/stevens.htm, December 16, 1997.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Philosophical Investigations Essay examples

- The Philosophical Investigations ABSTRACT: The Philosophical Investigations is an inherently pedagogical work. Wittgenstein claims throughout his later writings to be teaching a method and this method is both philosophical and pedagogical. It is the claim of this paper that if we do not take Wittgenstein's methodological claim seriously, we do not engage with the text in the manner for which it was written. Consequently, we begin and end in the wrong places and the text becomes (in the words of Wittgenstein) 'variously misunderstood, more or less mangled and watered-down.' §1 is philosophically and pedagogically complex....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Powerful Essays
4633 words (13.2 pages)

An Examination of the Causes of Personal Happiness Essay

- Stating that independence and freedom are necessary for personal happiness would not be accurate. In some cases, independence and freedom could cause happiness in some people, however, they may not satisfy everyone. Happiness, independence and freedom have varying meanings and are not directly correlated in any given situation. The TED talk “The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory” and the texts “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” “The Duty of Civil Disobedience” elaborate on this idea. All three sources share a common underlying theme of happiness and what it means to the individual....   [tags: independence, freedom, philosophical analysis]

Powerful Essays
648 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on The Free-Will Determinism Problem in Greek Philosophy: Aristotle

- The Free-Will Determinism Problem in Greek Philosophy: Aristotle Although the tradition of western philosophy was once famously called a series of 'footnotes to Plato' (A.N. Whitehead), there seems to be at least one major philosophical debate that owes it s heritage neither to Plato nor to any of his ancient compatriots. The problem of free will and determinism seems not to have been a major issue directly exercising the minds of philosophers of the ancient world. There are probably two main reasons for this....   [tags: Philosophical Essays]

Powerful Essays
2775 words (7.9 pages)

Luctis Cogitatio and Noctis Reflectio as the Forms of Consciousness and Human Exploration of the World

- Luctis Cogitatio and Noctis Reflectio as the Forms of Consciousness and Human Exploration of the World ABSTRACT: The task of philosophy in the modern world consists in the construction of a methodology of self-consciousness and self-development in the person-the method of human knowledge. I suggest a binary approach to the development of human reason which is able to understand both the world and the place of the person in the world. This allocates two spheres and two forms of consciousness: 'day time' (practical) and 'night' (spiritual)....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Free Essays
4861 words (13.9 pages)

An Examination of the Dogme Method of Language acquisition in English Language Teaching

- Initially Dogme is a filmmaking technique established in 1995 by a group of Danish directors when they tried to create more successful films with fewer preparations. Meddings and Thornbury (2009, 104) state that “Dogme demands that no props are introduced to the authentic film location…and the sole use of hand-held camera”. Eventually this technique was obtained as a teaching method since sometimes teachers may face a lack of materials which can be a loss of electricity source that could affect a lesson based on listening or at least affect photocopying materials for students....   [tags: Language ]

Powerful Essays
1378 words (3.9 pages)

Crime Scene Examination : An Definition And Philosophical Aspect Of Science

- Introduction The aim of this essay is to prove that crime scene examination is widely dependent on scientific process, but it is not a science in its own, it is a combination of science, logic and law. To do this I will briefly explain what science is, what crime scene is and why forensic science plays a major part in crime scene examination. What is science. Definitions, methodological and philosophical aspect of it Science has a special place in our society. The word science means collecting a special kind of knowledge, and it is a method of study to “understand and describe the physical universe” (Doyle, 2001, p5)....   [tags: Scientific method, Science, Epistemology]

Powerful Essays
2145 words (6.1 pages)

Lu Xun 's The Imperial Civil Service Examination Essay

- In March of 1919, Lu Xun wrote Kong Yiji. According to one source, it is considered by some people that Lu Xun wrote this story to express the sadness of the students at the time. Others have suggested that he wrote it to explain what was wrong with the 'feudal society ', where people could easily waste their entire life trying to pass pointless exams. In my opinion, the best interpretation of Lu Xun’s short story is that he wrote Kong Yiji to explain the faults of the feudal society in China during the time period....   [tags: China, Qing Dynasty, Imperial examination]

Powerful Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

Pediatrics: Cranial Nerve Examination Essay

- Oculomotor (III), trochlear (IV), Abducens (VI) cranial nerves Although each of these nerves control separate extraocular muscles, they are normally examined together due to their close functional interrelationships. • Look Similar to other cranial nerve examination, start with inspection of the eyes. Look at - The position of the head position: If diplopia is present, the head turned or tilted to minimize double vision. - Inspect for ptosis and eye position. - Ask the child to look at an object about five feet away....   [tags: Pediatric Examination]

Powerful Essays
2284 words (6.5 pages)

Analysing the Examination of Mary Roberts about Language Essay

- I will be analysing The Examination of Mary Roberts (1613) with the purpose of analysing who used Cant and if it was a language or jargon. By the word jargon, I mean language, which is not official but is commonly used, also known as ‘slang’. The Examination of Mary Roberts which shows how Cant might have actually been used whereas Dekker’s piece The Vpright Cofe Canteth to the roague shows prejudice to Cant. The Act of Union (1536) stated that the English language was to be used for law and religion....   [tags: cant, slang, jargon]

Powerful Essays
2098 words (6 pages)

The Concept of 'Metaphysical Liberalism': On the Philosophical Source of 'Liberal Democracy'

- The Concept of 'Metaphysical Liberalism': On the Philosophical Source of 'Liberal Democracy' ABSTRACT: There have been many discussions about ‘Liberalism’ in modern political philosophy. In this paper, I want to discuss the liberal principles of political philosophy on the metaphysical level. This includes the liberal mind, the liberal consciousness, and the liberal ethos, all of which are presupposed in our liberal behaviors, and in turn serve as fundamental principles in any multicultural society....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Papers]

Powerful Essays
3236 words (9.2 pages)