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Philosophical Papers Volume I$
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David Lewis

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780195032048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195032047.001.0001

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Languages and Language

Languages and Language

(p.163) Eleven Languages and Language
Philosophical Papers Volume I

David Lewis

Oxford University Press

Lewis attempts the synthesis of two rival accounts: the thesis, according to which languages are a semantic system abstracted from the nature and history of human affairs; and the antithesis, according to which language is a rational, convention‐governed human social activity. Upon answering an extended series of objections, Lewis concludes that the philosophy of language is best understood as a single subject.

Keywords:   artificial language, Chomsky, convention, grammar, Saul Kripke, natural language, philosophy of language, pragmatics, Quine, semantics, truthfulness

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