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Terminologia e Lexicografia Epistemology, Philosophy of Language and Linguistic Philosophy.

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Presentation on theme: "Terminologia e Lexicografia Epistemology, Philosophy of Language and Linguistic Philosophy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Terminologia e Lexicografia Epistemology, Philosophy of Language and Linguistic Philosophy

2 Philosophy and language Three areas of philosophy relevant to the understanding of language –Epistemology or the theory of knowledge –The Philosophy of Language –Linguistic Philosophy

3 Epistemology How do we know? Why do we know? What do we know? What can we know? ‘Knowing that’ ‘Knowing how’ (Question: ‘know’ = ‘saber’ / ‘conhecer’ ?)

4 Main questions Is knowledge innate or acquired? –Are we somehow pre-destined to ‘know’ certain things? –How far do we acquire knowledge only from experience? Rationalism v empiricism –Do we arrive at our view of the world through reason alone? –Do we deduce all we know from experience?

5 Other questions What is perception? What is reason? What is reality? What is appearance? What is ‘our knowledge of the external world’?

6 Other questions How reliable is our perception of the external world? How do we solve the ‘other minds’ problem? How far can we reach agreement on the nature of what we perceive individually and collectively? What part does language play in our understanding of the world?

7 Other questions What is it to know something? What is truth? What counts as evidence for or against a particular theory? What is meant by a proof? Or even, as the Greek Skeptics asked, is human knowledge possible at all, or is human access to the world such that no knowledge and no certitude about it is possible?

8 SIX DISTINCTIONS OF KNOWLEDGE 1. Mental versus non-mental conceptions of knowledge –Awareness of knowlege v ‘unconscious’ knowledge 2. Dispositional v. Occurrent conceptions of knowledge –e.g. A sugar cube dissolves in water /The sugar cube dissolved in the water.. –e.g. Passive and active knowledge

9 3. A priori versus a posteriori knowledge –Necessary versus contingent propositions –Analytic versus synthetic propositions –Tautological versus significant propositions –Logical versus factual propositions "All husbands are married" > a priori, necessary, analytic, tautological, logical "All Model-T Fords are black" > a posteriori, contingent, synthetic, significant, factual

10 4. Knowledge by acquaintance – or first-hand experience – Knowledge by description – or by learning from others 5. Description – attempts to depict accurately certain features of the world Justification - how one can justify certain sets of beliefs 6. Knowledge and certainty - Is it possible for someone to know that p without being certain that p?

11 Origins of knowledge Consider the notions of: –Ideas in mathematics –Innate v. Learned –Rationalism v. Empiricism –‘Tabula rasa’ –Skepticism

12 Notes on early Epistemology Sophists - sophistry Socrates – ‘what is piety?’ Plato – Platonic ‘ideas’ Aristotle – passive intellect and active intellect Skepticism - knowledge is impossible St. Augustine – ideas and illumination Medieval philosophy - "faith seeking reason"

13 ‘Modern’ philosophy – 17 c. Faith/revelation and reason Impact of modern science on epistemology Descartes –intuition and deduction –“Cogito, ergo sum” –Innate ideas –Duality of mind and body

14 ‘Modern’ philosophy – c. The empiricists –Locke – ‘tabula rasa’ –Berkeley –Hume Kant – the “transcendental idealist” Hegel – ‘all knowledge must be expressible in language’

15 Contemporary philosophy – 20c Continental philosophy Husserl – phenomenology Heidegger – Being and Time Merleau-Ponty – Phenomenology of Perception Sartre - Being-in-itself (en soi) v being-for-itself (pour soi) Foucault - The Archaeology of Knowledge Derrida - deconstruction Dewey – experience = an interaction between a living being and his environment

16 Contemporary philosophy - Analytic philosophy ‘The most distinctive feature of analytic philosophy is its emphasis upon the role that language plays in the creation and resolution of philosophical problems’ Derived from: –Symbolic logic –British Empiricism Leading to: –Formal approach –Ordinary language approach

17 Philosophy and language Formal approach: –Bertrand Russell, Gottlob Frege, Rudolf Carnap, Alfred Tarski, W.V.O. Quine, and early Wittgenstein Ordinary language approach –G.E. Moore, Gilbert Ryle, J.L. Austin, Norman Malcolm, P.F. Strawson, Zeno Vendler, and late Wittgenstein

18 The Philosophy of Languge versus Linguistic Philosophy “ ‘ The philosophy of language’ is the name of a subject matter within philosophy; ‘linguistic philosophy’ is primarily the name of a philosophical method. But the two, method and subject are intimately connected”. (Searle 1971:1) The subject has changed according to the ideas which prevail The method is close to that of logic and mathematics

19 Philosophy and Semantics Commonsense philosophy Logical positivism Naturalized epistemology Perception and knowledge Realism Phenomenalism

20 Anthropology, Sociology and Semantics Humboldt Boas Sapir Whorf Late Wittgenstein Bernstein

21 Psychology and Semantics Piaget – developmental psychology Chomsky – Language and Mind Jackendoff - Semantics and Cognition Langacker – cognitive linguistics Lakoff – Metaphors we live by and Women, Fire and Dangerous Things Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind Patricia Churchland - Neurophilosophy Damásio – Descartes’ Error

22 Non-Vocal Communication & Semantics Sign Signal Icon Symbol Gestures – Kinesics Proxemics Pictures, diagrams etc

23 The Semantic triangle 1 Real world ‘Mental’ representation Name

24 Language universals Universals coming from innate ideas -Part of our ‘soul’ / ‘spirit’ -‘God’-given -Part of our ‘mind’ Genetically programmed part of the brain Holistic knowledge

25 Linguistic relativism Learning from experience of the world Language as a social / cultural ‘contract’ Languages provide prisms through which we view the world – therefore all languages provide a different possibility for understanding the world Different social groups filter the language differently Each individual has a unique vision of the world

26 The Semantic Triangle 2 ‘Res’ Concept Word / term

27 ‘Res’ Variation of understanding due to: –Geographical differences –Cultural differences –Social differences –Educational differences –Individual differences

28 Concept ‘Objective’ conceptualisation –Concrete objects –Observable actions –Observable qualities of the world ‘Subjective’ conceptualisation –Abstract ideas –Mental processes –Subjective appreciation of the world REMEMBER: the distinction between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ is fuzzy

29 Words and Terms This is the point of departure for the next few lessons!


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