Context and Content
Essays on Intentionality in Speech and Thought
By (author) Robert C. Stalnaker
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Context and Content by Robert C. Stalnaker
Book DescriptionIn Context and Content Robert Stalnaker develops a philosophical picture of the nature of speech and thought and the relations between them. Two themes in particular run through these collected essays: the role that the context in which speech takes place plays in accounting for the way language is used to express thought, and the role of the external environment in determining the contents of our thoughts. Stalnaker argues against the widespread assumption of the priority of linguistic over mental representation, which he suggests has had a distorting influence on our understanding. The first part of the book develops a framework for representing contexts and the way they interact with the interpretation of what is said in them. This framework is used to help to explain a range of linguistic phenomena concerning presupposition and assertion, conditional statements, the attribution of beliefs, and the use of names, descriptions, and pronouns to refer. Stalnaker then draws out the conception of thought and its content that is implicit in this framework. He defends externalism about thought-the assumption that our thoughts have the contents they have in virtue of the way we are situated in the world-and explores the role of linguistic action and linguistic structure in determining the contents of our thoughts. Context and Content offers philosophers and cognitive scientists a summation of Stalnaker's important and influential work in this area. His new introduction to the volume gives an overview of this work and offers a convenient way in for those who are new to it. The Oxford Cognitive Science series is a new forum for the best contemporary work in this flourishing field, where various disciplines-cognitive psychology, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational theory-join forces in the investigation of thought, awareness, understanding, and associated workings of the mind. Each book constitutes an original contribution to its subject, but will be accessible beyond the ranks of specialists, so as to reach a broad interdisciplinary readership. The series will be carefully shaped and steered with the aim of representing the most important developments in the field and bringing together its constituent disciplines.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198237075
(234mm x 157mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 8-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Robert C. Stalnaker
Context, Paperback (April 2016)
Robert Stalnaker explores the contexts in which speech takes place, the ways we represent them, and the roles they play in explaining the interpretation and dynamics of speech. His central thesis is the autonomy of pragmatics: the independence of theory about structure and function of discourse from theory about mechanisms serving those functions.
Mere Possibilities, Hardback (December 2011)
It seems reasonable to believe that there might have existed things other than those that in fact exist, or have existed. This title develops a framework for clarifying this problem, and explores a number of actualist strategies for solving it.
Ways a World Might be, Hardback (August 2003)
Robert Stalnaker draws together in this volume his work in metaphysics. The central theme is the role of possible worlds in articulating our various metaphysical commitments.
Context and Content, Hardback (April 1999)» View all books by Robert C. Stalnaker
Stalnaker develops a philosophical picture of the nature of speech and thought and the relations between them. These collected essays offer a summation of Stalnaker's important and influential work in this area. His new introduction to the volume gives an overview of this work and offers a convenient way in for those who are new to it.
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Author Biography - Robert C. Stalnaker
Robert C. Stalnaker is Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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