Ignorance of Language / Edition 1

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Overview

The Chomskian revolution in linguistics gave rise to a new orthodoxy about mind and language. Michael Devitt throws down a provocative challenge to that orthodoxy. What is linguistics about? What role should linguistic intuitions play in constructing grammars? What is innate about language? Is there a "language faculty?" These questions are crucial to our developing understanding of ourselves; Michael Devitt offers refreshingly original answers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wealth of careful distinctions and detailed arguments...an example of how serious philosophy of a very technical area may be conducted with thoroughness, lucidity, and elegance."—John Collins, Mind Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199250967
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/6/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Devitt is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He taught at the University of Sydney from 1971 until 1987 and the University of Maryland from 1988 to 1999. His main research interests are in the philosophy of language and mind, and in issues of realism. He is the author of Designation (Columbia, 1981), Realism and Truth (2nd ed with Afterword, Princeton, 1997), Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism (Cambridge, 1996), and Language and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (with Kim Sterelny, 2nd edn, MIT, 1999).

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Table of Contents

I. Linguistics is not Psychology
1. Introduction
2. A grammar as a theory of linguistic reality
II. Positions on Psychological Reality
3. Some possible positions on psychological reality
4. Some actual postions on psychological reality
III. 'Philosophical' Arguments for the Representational Thesis
5. The Rejection of Behaviourism
6. Folk Psychology
7. Intuitions
IV. The Relation of Language to Thought
8. Thought before language
9. A case for the psychological reality of language
10. Thought and the language faculty
V. Language Use and Acquisition
11. Language use
12. Language acquisition

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