• Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how meanings are modulated (changed) even during the course of our everyday conversations. When we engage with communicative partners we build micro-languages on the fly--languages that may be fleeting, but which serve our joint interests. Sometimes we sync up on word meanings without reflection, but in many cases we debate the proper modulation of the meanings of our words. Living Words explores the norms that govern the ways in which we litigate word meanings. The resulting view is radical, and Ludlow shows that it has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse and also for some of the deepest and most intractable puzzles that have gripped English-language philosophy for the past 100 years--including puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.

  • Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how meanings are modulated (changed) even during the course of our everyday conversations. When we engage with communicative partners we build micro-languages on the fly--languages that may be fleeting, but which serve our joint interests. Sometimes we sync up on word meanings without reflection, but in many cases we debate the proper modulation of the meanings of our words. Living Words explores the norms that govern the ways in which we litigate word meanings. The resulting view is radical, and Ludlow shows that it has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse and also for some of the deepest and most intractable puzzles that have gripped English-language philosophy for the past 100 years--including puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.

  • Peter Ludlow presents the first book on the philosophy of generative linguistics, including both Chomsky's government and binding theory and his minimalist program. Ludlow explains the motivation of the generative framework, describes its basic mechanisms, and then addresses some of the many interesting philosophical questions and puzzles that arise once we adopt the general theoretical approach. He focuses on what he takes to be the most basic philosophical issues
    about the ontology of linguistics, about the nature of data, about language/world relations, and about best theory criteria. These are of broad philosophical interest, from epistemology to ethics: Ludlow hopes to bring the philosophy of linguistics to a wider philosophical audience and show that we
    have many shared philosophical questions. Similarly, he aims to set out the philosophical issues in such a way as to engage readers from linguistics, and to encourage interaction between the two disciplines on foundational issues.

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