Pragmatism and Reference David Boersema

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Published: September 19th 2008

Kindle Edition

296 pages


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Pragmatism and Reference  by  David Boersema

Pragmatism and Reference by David Boersema
September 19th 2008 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 296 pages | ISBN: | 5.46 Mb

Despite a recent revival of interest in pragmatist philosophy, most work in theanalytic philosophy of language ignores insights offered by classical pragmatists and contemporaryneopragmatists. In Pragmatism and Reference, David Boersema argues that aMoreDespite a recent revival of interest in pragmatist philosophy, most work in theanalytic philosophy of language ignores insights offered by classical pragmatists and contemporaryneopragmatists. In Pragmatism and Reference, David Boersema argues that a pragmatist perspective onreference presents a distinct alternative--and corrective--to the prevailing analytic views on thetopic.

Boersema finds that the pragmatist approach to reference, with alternative understandings ofthe nature of language, the nature of conceptualization and categorization, and the nature ofinquiry, is suggested in the work of Wittgenstein and more thoroughly developed in the works of suchclassical and contemporary pragmatists as Charles Peirce and Hilary Putnam. Boersema first discussesthe descriptivist and causal theories of reference--the received views on the topic in analyticphilosophy.

Then, after considering Wittgensteins approach to reference, Boersema details thepragmatist approach to reference by nine philosophers: the Big Three, of classicalpragmatism, Peirce, William James, and John Dewey- three contemporary American philosophers, Putnam,Catherine Elgin, and Richard Rorty- and three important continental philosophers, Umberto Eco,Karl-Otto Apel, and Jürgen Habermas.

Finally, Boersema shows explicitly how pragmatism offers agenuinely alternative account of reference, presenting several case studies on the nature andfunction of names. Here, he focuses on conceptions of individuation, similarity, essences, andsociality of language. Pragmatism and Reference will serve as a bridge between analytic andpragmatist approaches to such topics of shared concern as the nature and function oflanguage.



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