When Words Are Called for: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy

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9780674055223: When Words Are Called for: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy

This is a revolutionary book-certainly within the context of mainstream analytic philosophy. But its appeal should be wider than the admittedly narrow circle of professional philosophers. Indeed, it addresses a popular dissatisfaction with philosophy; namely, that philosophical arguments are often seen as beside the point, 'detached from life' and unsatisfying... Baz believes that philosophers tend to divorce their words from reality. His view is that we make sense only when we speak in virtue of such a connection... Baz is trying to build a persuasive case for a perspective in which philosophical 'difficulties lose their apparent force.' He has given us a radical, subtle and patient account of an alternative to how much of philosophy proceeds today. -- Craig Fox Times Higher Education 20120712

Vom Verlag:

A new form of philosophizing known as ordinary language philosophy took root in England after the Second World War, promising a fresh start and a way out of long-standing dead-end philosophical debates. Pioneered by Wittgenstein, Austin, and others, OLP is now widely rumored, within mainstream analytic philosophy, to have been seriously discredited, and consequently its perspective is ignored. Avner Baz begs to differ. In "When Words Are Called For", he shows how the prevailing arguments against OLP collapse under close scrutiny. All of them, he claims, presuppose one version or another of the very conception of word-meaning that OLP calls into question and takes to be responsible for many traditional philosophical difficulties. Worse, analytic philosophy itself has suffered as a result of its failure to take OLP's perspective seriously. Baz blames a neglect of OLP's insights for seemingly irresolvable disputes over the methodological relevance of "intuitions" in philosophy and for misunderstandings between contextualists and anti-contextualists (or "invariantists") in epistemology. Baz goes on to explore the deep affinities between Kant's work and OLP and suggests ways that OLP could be applied to other philosophically troublesome concepts. "When Words Are Called For" defends OLP not as a doctrine but as a form of practice that might provide a viable alternative to work currently carried out within mainstream analytic philosophy. Accordingly, Baz does not merely argue for OLP but, all the more convincingly, practices it in this eye-opening book.

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