Theory and history combine in this book to form a coherent narrative of the debates on language and languages in the Western world, from ancient classic philosophy to the present, with a final glance at on-going discussions on language as a cognitive tool, on its bodily roots and philogenetic role. An introductory chapter reviews the epistemological areas that converge into, or contribute to, language philosophy, and discusses their methods, relations, and goals. In this context, the status of language philosophy is discussed in its relation to the sciences and the arts of language. Each chapter is followed by a list of suggested readings that refer the reader to the final bibliography. About the author: Lia Formigari, Professor Emeritus at University of Rome, La Sapienza. Her publications include: Language and Experience in XVIIth-century British Philosophy. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 1988; Signs, Science and Politics. Philosophies of Language in Europe 1700-1830. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 1993; La semiotique empiriste face au kantisme. Liege: Mardaga, 1994.
1. Foreword; 2. 1. A map of the area; 3. 2. Language, thought, and reality; 4. 3. A natural history of speech; 5. 4. Philosophy of language from Boethius to Locke; 6. 5. Language and philosophy from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment; 7. 6. Languages, peoples, and nations; 8. 7. Language and philosophy at the turn of the 19th century; 9. 8. Conclusion: A glance at on-going work; 10. Bibliography; 11. Author index; 12. Subject index