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Palu Roth: Does Language Exist?


The LMS - Center welcomes prof. Paul Roth (University of California, Santa Cruz & University of Hradec Králové) to speak on the philosophy of language. You are mostly welcome to join us!!

Abstract: This talk is based on a combination of papers of mine that I am currently writing regarding the notion of meaning. I argue that philosophical skepticism about the existence of language famously articulated by Davidson—“there is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed”—presupposes and has its roots in Quine’s criticisms of Carnap’s views on linguistic frameworks. Specifically,I examine the conceptual and historical role within analytic philosophy of Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance in his account of linguistic frameworks, and reasons for Quine’s rejection of it. For if one sees, as does Quine, choices guided from the outset by pragmatic notions, then all so-called frameworks must be understood as post facto inventions by us. As a result, the thought that we can identify constraints on meaning,e.g., logic, proves philosophically misplaced and indeed idle."

When: Oct 11, 2017 from 2:05 pm - 3:40 pm
Where: Building of Philosophical Faculty, Room #B9

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