Dummett

Dummett

by Karen Green
     
 

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Michael Dummett stands out among his generation as the only British philosopher of language to rival in stature the Americans, Davidson and Quine. In conjunction with them he has been responsible for much of the framework within which questions concerning meaning and understanding are raised and answered in the late twentieth-century Anglo-American tradition.

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Overview

Michael Dummett stands out among his generation as the only British philosopher of language to rival in stature the Americans, Davidson and Quine. In conjunction with them he has been responsible for much of the framework within which questions concerning meaning and understanding are raised and answered in the late twentieth-century Anglo-American tradition. Dummett's output has been prolific and highly influential, but not always as accessible as it deserves to be. This book sets out to rectify this situation.

Karen Green offers the first comprehensive introduction to Dummett's philosophy of language, providing an overview and summary of his most important arguments. She argues that Dummett should not be understood as a determined advocate of anti-realism, but that his greatest contribution to the philosophy of language is to have set out the strengths and weaknesses of the three most influential positions within contemporary theory of meaning - realism, as epitomized by Frege, the holism to be found in Wittgenstein, Quine and Davidson and the constructivism which can be extracted from Brouwer. It demonstrates that analytic philosophy as Dummett practices it, is by no means an outmoded approach to thinking about language, but that it is relevant both to cognitive science and to phenomenology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Karen Green has done more than write a study of Dummett'sphilosophy of language. She has in effect written a criticalhistory of the treatment of the theory of meaning by leadingfigures from Frege and Wittgenstein on to the present; and shedemonstrates how, in relation to all of them, Dummett haselaborated his own position, acknowledging what they have severallycontributed while at the same time avoiding their excesses. Sheshows how his judiciously selective denial of bivalence generatesan "anti-realism" which is perfectly consistent with the realism ofcommon sense.' Sir Peter Strawson, University College,Oxford

'For the student, getting to grips with Michael Dummett'sphilosophy can be a formidable task. For Dummett's theses are deepand challenging, and his arguments for them are subtle and complex.Karen Green is to be thanked and commended for this lucid andaccessible account of the main features of Dummett's system ofthought. She explains how Dummett has developed theses from Fregeand Wittgenstein, about objectivity, normativity, systematicity,publicity, and the dependence of thought on language. She tracesalso significant points of contact and contention with Husserl,Brouwer, Quine and Davidson. She explains the anti-realistmisgiving that truth cannot be bivalent for a language in whichmeaning derives from use, and does much to prevent the frequentconfusion of anti-realism with subjective idealism orphenomenalism. All in all, this is a remarkable exposition anddevelopment of the views of one of the most important philosophersof our age.' Professor Neil Tennant, The Ohio StateUniversity

"Overall, this book demonstrates Green's remarkablecommand of the whole of Dummett's writings...Green's discussion ofthhese issues offer a well argued and remarkable cohesiveperspective on the great breadth of Dummett's work." DavidKilfoyle, Philosophy in Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745622958
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Series:
Key Contemporary Thinkers Series
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

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