Meaning without Analyticity: Essays on Logic, Language and Meaning
Author: H.G. Callaway
Date Of Publication: Nov 2008
Meaning without Analyticity draws upon the author’s essays and articles, over a period of 20 years, focused on language, logic and meaning. The book explores the prospect of a non-behavioristic theory of cognitive meaning which rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction, Quinean behaviorism, and the logical and social-intellectual excesses of extreme holism. Cast in clear, perspicuous language and oriented to scientific discussions, this book takes up the challenges of philosophical communication and evaluation implicit in the recent revival of the pragmatist tradition—especially those arising from its relation to prior American analytic thought. This volume continues the work of Callaway’s 1993 book, Context for Meaning and Analysis, building on the “turn toward pragmatism.”
The premise of this collection is that we begin to answer the questions posed by the revival of the pragmatist tradition by bring it into fuller contact with American analytic philosophy of the sort which eclipsed it during the Cold War. In this book, a lively and continuing interest in Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson and Putnam meets up with equal engagement and competence concerning C.S. Peirce, William James and John Dewey. The formalism of analytic philosophy encounters a logically articulate version of the contextualism implicit in the pragmatist tradition, and orientation to natural science is supplemented by a systematic stress on social and cultural contexts of inquiry.
Born and educated in Pennsylvania, H.G. Callaway, is the author of Context for Meaning and Analysis, A Critical Study in the Philosophy of Language (Rodopi, 1993) and co-edited American Ethics: A Source Book from Edwards to Dewey (University Press of America, 2000). His translation of W.V. Quine’s Immanuel Kant Lectures appeared from Frommann-Holzboog in 2003. Callaway published recent scholarly editions of R.W. Emerson’s The Conduct of Life (U.P.A., 2006) and Society and Solitude (Mellen Press, 2008), and his new edition of William James’s A Pluralistic Universe: A New Philosophical Reading has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2008). Callaway holds a doctorate in philosophy from Temple University and has taught at various American and European universities and at the University of Ibadan.
"The title of H. G. Callaway’s Meaning without Analyticity speaks for itself. It announces an approach to cognitive meaning which denies tenable distinctions between the analytic and synthetic and the à priori and à posteriori. But it also avoids some of the standard skeptical responses to these rejections, resisting in particular Quine’s anti-realism in semantics: his theses of the indeterminacy of translation, the inscrutability of reference—and his unrestricted holism. Accordingly, Meaning without Analyticity turns toward a more realist empiricism in the theory of linguistic meaning. … The book aims for an analytic approach to cognitive meaning, informed by the recent revival of the pragmatist tradition. This is analytic philosophy in its scientifically oriented version, including the aim for precision of expression and argument—and with an eye to the scientific standing of empirical semantics. … Callaway’s theory of meaning is a contextualist one. It provides that the meaning of a statement is the set of its logical implications in the theory or belief-system in which it arises. This creates a stark contrast to Quinean unrestricted holism. … Meaning without Analyticity is a crisply argued and attractively compact book. It is a valuable contribution to a philosophical pragmatism about meaning, crafted with a view to a cognitively based pluralism of the sciences."
Professor John Woods, FRSC, Director, The Abductive Systems Group, Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia
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