Philosophy and Ordinary Language: The Bent and Genius of Our Tongue (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy)

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What is philosophy about and what are its methods? Philosophy and Ordinary Language is a defence of the view that philosophy is largely about questions of language, which to a large extent means ordinary language. Some people argue that if philosophy is about ordinary language, then it is necessarily less deep and difficult than it is usually taken to be but Oswald Hanfling shows us that this isn't true.
Hanfling, a leading expert in the development of analytic philosophy, covers a wide range of topics, including scepticism and the definition of knowledge, free will, empiricism, folk psychology, ordinary versus artificial logic, and philosophy versus science. Drawing on philosophers such as Austin, Wittgenstein, and Quine, this book explores the nature of ordinary language in philosophy.

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Review:

"This book gives a comprehensive overview of the main practitioners of ordinary language philosophy and their methods. Supplied with a large number of examples, this book allows its reader to follow the line of the argumentation easily."
-Katia Chirkova, "Language
"Oswald Hanfling has written a lucid, painstaking, thorough and comprehensive defense of a certain method in philosophy, a method used, consciously or not, by many philosophers, derided by some, and mainly associated in our century with the names of Austin and Wittgenstein."
-Sir Peter Strawson, Oxford University
"Hanfling has illuminating things to say not only about Plato and Descartes, Berkeley and Hume, but also about Grice and Quine, Kripke and the Churchlands. Hanfling's book constitutes a remarkably rich achievement. It is a long time since I last read a work of philosophy from which I have learnt so much."
-Antony Flew, "Philosophical Investigations

Synopsis:

Philosophy and Ordinary Language is a defence of the view that philosophy is largely about questions of language, which to a large extent means ordinary language. Oswald Hanfling shows that this view does not entail that philosophy is less deep and difficult than it is usually taken to be. Special chapters are devoted to Austin, Wittgenstein, Quine and Grice; and among the other thinkers discussed are Plato, Frege, Ryle, Russell, Strawson, and Putnam and Kripke.

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