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Old 08-31-2009, 06:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Philosophy of Language

I have never really delved into philosophy of language. Since I have to write a research paper this year on anything, I decided I should probably look at some problems in the philosophy of language. Are there any big problems in this area of philosophy, and what philosophers should I be looking at if I want to look more into the philosophy of language.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Inuzuka Skysword View Post
I have never really delved into philosophy of language. Since I have to write a research paper this year on anything, I decided I should probably look at some problems in the philosophy of language. Are there any big problems in this area of philosophy, and what philosophers should I be looking at if I want to look more into the philosophy of language.
What?

I love the topic, but this was vague and directionless.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah man I did HEAPS on the Philosophy of Language in my undergrad degree. Key theorists to read would perhaps be Michael Foucalt, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Ferdinand De Saussure, and Martin Heidegger. But there are plenty others of course.

Do you know specifically what you're going to focus your research paper on? As Big3 said your question was kinda vague.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I say "big problems" I mean topics in this area of philosophy which a lot of philosophers have covered because it is important. Whether we have free will or not can be considered a big problem in philosophy. So I want to research something like that, but in the philosophy of language.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Inuzuka Skysword View Post
When I say "big problems" I mean topics in this area of philosophy which a lot of philosophers have covered because it is important. Whether we have free will or not can be considered a big problem in philosophy. So I want to research something like that, but in the philosophy of language.
Well a huge thing you could write about free will could be the idea that we are constrained by language; we can only express ourselves through the confines of language and so we are limited. Lots of theorists talk about this kinds of stuff, refer to the ones I posted up there ^^

Just read a lot of theorists works and you will be able to pick out problems with the philosophy yourself and get an idea of what it's all about. Either way it's a great topic to study, I know I really enjoyed it.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well a huge thing you could write about free will could be the idea that we are constrained by language; we can only express ourselves through the confines of language and so we are limited. Lots of theorists talk about this kinds of stuff, refer to the ones I posted up there ^^

Just read a lot of theorists works and you will be able to pick out problems with the philosophy yourself and get an idea of what it's all about. Either way it's a great topic to study, I know I really enjoyed it.
I will definitely look at those guys because they seem important. However, are there any older philosophers who discussed the topic? I notice most of the ones you posted are fairly new or 19th century. Were there any major philosophers before then that are pretty important in the realm of philosophy of language?
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you want to get really ancient, you could research some of Plato's writings. He talks a lot about what 'reality' is and how it is defined, he does theorise on a few concepts of language. Or maybe Joachim Du Dellay (hope that spelling is correct). I'm not THAT familiar with earlier philosophers, sorry. But anyway, good luck! I'm sure you will come across more people you can look into as you research.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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big topics... the relation of language to reality... the meaning of meaning... is language innate? is the subconscious structured as language? those sorts of things. it's an old topic, but the 'linguistic turn' in philosophy is fairly recent... circa 1950's
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Although you are writing a philosophy paper, I think you should include some biology into your study. After all, everything we are has roots in our biology and there are many interesting theories out there on where language comes from and how it's evolved. Furthermore, back in the olden days there was no distinction between biological studies and philosophy anyways.

Not knowing exactly what you're after, I'll just leave it at that for now, but just ask and I'll help you out if I can.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The main theme of my final english papers (on Ros and Guil are Dead) was exactly what Lateralus described, the constraints of language, the impossibility of any transcendental expression within a human construct. Then it sort of went off on a bunch of other tenuous tangents, but that was the main gist of it.

Anyway, I barely looked into it but it's a fascinating subject, enjoy your research.
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