Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language

Disclosing the World: On the Phenomenology of Language

by Andrew Inkpin

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Overview

A phenomenological conception of language, drawing on Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Wittgenstein, with implications for both the philosophy of language and current cognitive science.

In this book, Andrew Inkpin considers the disclosive function of language—what language does in revealing or disclosing the world. His approach to this question is a phenomenological one, centering on the need to accord with the various experiences speakers can have of language. With this aim in mind, he develops a phenomenological conception of language with important implications for both the philosophy of language and recent work in the embodied-embedded-enactive-extended (4e) tradition of cognitive science.

Inkpin draws extensively on the work of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, showing how their respective conceptions of language can be combined to complement each other within a unified view. From the early Heidegger, Inkpin extracts a basic framework for a phenomenological conception of language, comprising both a general picture of the role of language and a specific model of the function of words. Merleau-Ponty's views are used to explicate the generic “pointing out”—or presentational—function of linguistic signs in more detail, while the late Wittgenstein is interpreted as providing versatile means to describe their many pragmatic uses. Having developed this unified phenomenological view, Inkpin explores its broader significance. He argues that it goes beyond the conventional realism/idealism opposition, that it challenges standard assumptions in mainstream post-Fregean philosophy of language, and that it makes a significant contribution not only to the philosophical understanding of language but also to 4e cognitive science.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262033916
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/18/2016
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrew Inkpin is a Lecturer in Contemporary European Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Abbreviations xv

Introduction: A Phenomenological Approach to Language 1

1 Getting Phenomenology Right 6

2 Getting Phenomenology Historically Right 11

3 The Path Ahead 14

I A Heideggerian Framework 23

1 The "Place" of Language 25

1 The World of Significance 27

2 The Articulation of Significance 30

3 Linguistic versus Pragmatic Articulacy 35

4 The Heterogeneity of Sentences 39

5 Linguistic Articulacy 45

2 Phenomenological Commitments 53

1 Language as Language-in-the-World 54

2 The Idea of Prepredicative Founding 58

3 The Disclosive Function of Linguistic Signs 67

1 Heidegger's Ambivalence about Language 69

2 Phenomenological Concepts as Formal Indication 73

3 Heidegger's Ambivalence Explained 81

4 Linguistic Signs as Compound Instruments 88

II Merleau-Ponty: The Presentational Aspect of Language 93

4 Language as the Expression of Lived Sense 95

1 The Efficacy of Language 97

2 The Phenomenology of Lived Sense 102

3 Creative and Established Expression 107

4 The Aspectual Presence of Language 111

5 The Heideggerian Framework Revisited 114

5 The Art and Science of Indirect Sense 119

1 The Differential Structure of Indirect Sense 120

2 The Inchoate Rationality of Indirect Sense 128

3 The Presentational Function of Style 134

4 Painting as a Model of Deliberative Activity 138

5 Style as a Preconceptual Generality 144

6 Presentational Sense as Indirect Sense 146

III Wittgenstein: The Pragmatic Aspect of Language 159

6 Language and the Structure of Practice 161

1 Appropriating Wittgenstein 162

2 Language-Games 168

3 Practice Constitutes Meaning 172

4 The Incoherence of Full Determinacy 177

5 Rules Reconfigured 182

6 Rules Constrained 188

7 Pragmatic Sense 193

7 Coping with Language 199

1 Rule-Following Practices 200

2 Prepredicative Language-Games 210

3 The Heideggerian Framework Completed 220

4 The Disclosive Function of Language 224

IV Some Philosophical Implications 231

8 The World Disclosed 233

1 Heidegger on the "Reality Problem" 235

2 Linguistic Contact with the World 240

3 Beyond Realism and Nonrealism 247

9 Phenomenology and Semantics 253

1 Two Approaches to Language 254

2 Weak Functional Foundation 259

3 Moderate Functional Foundation 264

4 Intelligent Absorbed Coping 271

5 The Challenge of Pervasive Conceptualism 279

6 Dissolving Bedrock 286

10 Phenomenology and Beyond 291

1 Below the Experiential Surface 293

2 A Shared Outlook 299

3 Embedding and Extending Phenomenology 308

Notes 315

References 357

Index 375

What People are Saying About This

David R. Cerbone

Merleau-Ponty once described readers of works in phenomenology as 'recognizing what they had been waiting for.' I suspect that many readers will have that feeling upon reading Inkpin's magnificent work: at last, a book that deftly combines ideas from Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Wittgenstein to develop a rigorous and systematic phenomenology of language.

Jack Reynolds

Many have seen the need to bridge the 'divide' between use-based and formal semantic accounts of language. But it is with Andrew Inkpin's Disclosing the World, via the use of what he calls a 'minimalist phenomenology,' that we get one of the deepest accounts of what such a resolution of the Homeric struggle might look like, one that also challenges the hegemony of the post-Fregean tradition in philosophy of language.

From the Publisher

Merleau-Ponty once described readers of works in phenomenology as 'recognizing what they had been waiting for. ' I suspect that many readers will have that feeling upon reading Inkpin's magnificent work: at last, a book that deftly combines ideas from Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Wittgenstein to develop a rigorous and systematic phenomenology of language.

David R. Cerbone , Professor of Philosophy, West Virginia University

Many have seen the need to bridge the 'divide' between use-based and formal semantic accounts of language. But it is with Andrew Inkpin's Disclosing the World , via the use of what he calls a 'minimalist phenomenology,' that we get one of the deepest accounts of what such a resolution of the Homeric struggle might look like, one that also challenges the hegemony of the post-Fregean tradition in philosophy of language.

Jack Reynolds , Professor of Philosophy, Deakin University, Melbourne

Endorsement

Many have seen the need to bridge the 'divide' between use-based and formal semantic accounts of language. But it is with Andrew Inkpin's Disclosing the World, via the use of what he calls a 'minimalist phenomenology,' that we get one of the deepest accounts of what such a resolution of the Homeric struggle might look like, one that also challenges the hegemony of the post-Fregean tradition in philosophy of language.

Jack Reynolds, Professor of Philosophy, Deakin University, Melbourne

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