Philosophy of language is organised around general questions of language and meaning, general and abstract aspects of language in e.g. Philosophy of Linguistics, and more specific problems.
What form should a theory of meaning take in a particular language. See Donald Davidson attempt to construct systematic meaning theory. Question of copying with context-sensitive expression. Traditional Theories - Lycan, chapter 5, Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, recommended: Hacking, Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy?, chapters 2-5 ; "Use" Theories - Lycan, chapter 6 , Wittgenstein, selection from Philosophical Investigations ; Psychological Theories - Lycan, chapter 7 ; Verificationism - Lycan, chapter 8, Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic ; Truth-Condition Theories - Lycan, chapters 9-10, David Lewis, "Languages and Language". See also Dummett for a critique of Davidson.
- Theories of reference - Russell, Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Lycan, chapters 1, 2, Lycan, chapters 3-4, Kripke, Naming and Necessity
- incommensurability - a state in which an undistorted translation cannot be produced between two or more denotational texts. Closely related to linguistic indeterminacy.Quine.
- Pragmatics and Speech Acts - Semantic Pragmatics - Lycan, chapter 11 ; Speech Acts and Illocutionary Force - Lycan, chapter 12, Austin, How to Do Things with Words ; Implicative Relations - Lycan, chapter 13, Grice, "Logic and Conversation", Suggested: David Lewis, "Scorekeeping in a Language Game"
- Metaphor - Lycan, chapter 14, C. S. Lewis? Davidson? Searle? . . .
- Syntax - Chomsky, selection from On Nature and Language
- The "Private Language Argument" - Wittgenstein, selections from Philosophical Investigations
Themes & Traditions
Paul Grice (thought explanatorily prior to lang, conversational implicature), Donald Davidson (thought and lang interdependent), Michael Dummett (language prior to thought (behaviouristic approach)), Gottlob Frege (truth-referential approach to semantics, Theory of Meaning), Bertrand Russell (theory of descriptions), Jerry Fodor (language-of-thought hypothesis or mentalese), Saul Kripke, Ludwig Wittgenstein, John Langshaw Austin (locutionary, illocutionary, perlocutionary), John Searle, Richard Rorty, Noam Chomsky (natural or innate lang), Benjamin Whorf, Quine,