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Explorations in Language and Linguistics

For Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday


Edited By Łukasz Bogucki and Piotr Cap

This volume is dedicated to Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Head of the Department of English and General Linguistics at the University of Łódź, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. It includes texts written by his students, colleagues and friends, dealing with a variety of urgent, widely discussed topics in the contemporary language studies. Spanning contributions from language history, philosophy, rhetoric and argumentation, methodology, and discourse studies, it provides an authoritative outline of the field and a timely response to the existing challenges, thus making for a concise handbook of modern linguistics. It is recommended to graduate students of philology, as well as researchers working in linguistics and other disciplines within the broad spectrum of humanities and social sciences.

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Language, Argument and Philosophical Bewilderment (Martin Hinton)


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Martin Hinton

Language, Argument and Philosophical Bewilderment

Abstract: This chapter examines the relationship between philosophy and language, concluding that while language is both map and compass to philosophers looking for the path to truth, it is also the principal cause of their being lost.

Keywords: Argumentation, Epistemology, Origins of Philosophy, Universals, Wittgenstein

That the three pillars of the edifice of human intellectual capacity, language, argument and philosophy, are closely related is a commonplace thought. They are the oddest of pillars though, since they do not stand proudly alone, but rely very much upon each other for their structure, and it is not at all clear what it is that they actually support. In this chapter, I shall consider the relationships between them: entwined, entangled, and ingrained. In doing so, I shall raise a number of questions, and, in keeping with the true spirit of philosophical practice, answer very few of them. The two key questions which I intend to pose, however, will receive some kind of an answer. They are these: without language, is philosophy possible, and, without language, would it be necessary? I shall suggest that the answer to the first question is that no, philosophy as I shall define it, could not be carried out non-linguistically; and to the second, a somewhat less forceful no: that if perhaps not all, then a very great deal of philosophical trouble is generated by language itself. For reasons which I...

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