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A phenomenological approach to linguistic articulation.

Inkpin, A.M.; (2003) A phenomenological approach to linguistic articulation. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The overall aim of the thesis is to argue that important aspects of language are best understood by a 'phenomenological' approach and to assess the contribution this makes to philosophical understanding of language. The principal task is to develop a tenable view of the role language plays in understanding the world, i.e. linguistic articulation, by drawing on three paradigmatic conceptions of language, each of which is 'phenomenological' in the sense of aspiring to describe accurately our experience of language. Since each paradigm accentuates certain aspects of linguistic phenomena, so that none is satisfactory by itself, the three are critically integrated to yield a more balanced overall picture. The first paradigm, the early Heidegger's, is taken to set out a general framework for thinking of language and to identify two poles: language is understood to be grounded in everyday practice, yet ideally its forms serve to present features of the world as they in themselves are. The two further paradigms allow these poles to be filled out in greater detail. Thus Merleau-Ponty's conception of language, which centres on creative expression and incorporates Saussure's idea of language as a 'system of differences', is used to explain the way language presents its objects. Conversely, the later Wittgenstein's view of language as interwoven with day-to-day human practice(s) is used to explicate the practical grounding of language. The thesis then seeks to highlight and assess the broader philosophical implications of the resultant combined phenomenological approach. Focusing on Heidegger's idea of 'prepredicative' founding, it first examines the relationship between the presentational and practical feats identified by this approach and more standard Neo-Fregean semantics-based conceptions of language. Finally, it is considered whether this combined phenomenological view, in particular the ways it sees language use as constituting awareness of its objects, has realist or nonrealist implications.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A phenomenological approach to linguistic articulation.
Identifier: PQ ETD:591580
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444278
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