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Meanings and Other Things

Themes from the Work of Stephen Schiffer

Meanings and Other Things by Gary Ostertag
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Stephen Schiffer's writing has been central to analytic philosophy of language and mind since the 1970s. In 1972 his book Meaning launched an important research program into Gricean, or intention-based, approaches to linguistic meaning, which would come to dominate much subsequent theorizing about language. A sea change occurred in 1987 with the publication of Remnants of Meaning. Schiffer here repudiated the project initiated by Meaning,arguing that the theory of public-language meaning it described and the account of mental representation it required were based on false presuppositions. The ramifications here were far reaching and set the agenda for discussions in the philosophy of language and mind for a generation. In 2003, The Things We Mean initiated amore positive program, but one informed by the negative results of Remnants. Things also reflected the broadening of Schiffer's concerns, which now extended to metaphysics, metaethics, and the skeptical paradoxes.In Meanings and Other Things fourteen leading philosophers explore central themes in Schiffer's writings. Topics range from theories of meaning to moral cognitivism, the nature of paradox, and the problem of vagueness. The volume also contains a comprehensive introduction that describes the evolution of Schiffer's thought, and closes with Schiffer's replies to his critics, extended essays that bring us up to date on Schiffer's current thinking on the themes that have defined not onlyhis career, but philosophy of language as it is now practised.
OUP Oxford; November 2016
548 pages; ISBN 9780191507953
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Title: Meanings and Other Things
Author: Gary Ostertag