Avner Baz, “When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy” (Harvard University Press, 2012)
In When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy (Harvard University Press, 2012), Avner Baz sets out to make a case for the reconsideration of Ordinary Language Philosophy, or OLP, in mainstream academic philosophy. I personally found Baz’s work in it interesting due to the fact that... Read More
Joshua Miller, “Accented America: The Cultural Politics of Multilingual Modernism” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Recent political debates around language have often been controversial, sometimes poorly informed, and usually unedifying. It’s striking to consider that such debates have, at least in the USA, been current for more than 100 years; and perhaps surprising to learn that they can be seen to have a striking effect... Read More
Sherry Simon, “Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory” (Routledge, 2012)
The idea that bilingualism can be enriching and beneficial for an individual is a popular one. But what about for a city? Here the associations are less positive, particularly if we automatically think of cities whose linguistic divisions echo the political or religious divisions between two communities unable to communicate.... Read More
Bart Geurts, “Quantity Implicatures” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
It’s now well over 100 years since John Stuart Mill noted that, if I say “I saw some of your children today”, you get the impression that I didn’t see all of them. This idea – that what we don’t say can also carry meaning – was fleshed out 50... Read More
Sam Leith, “Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama” (Basic Books, 2012)
What’s the connection between Sarah Palin and Plato? The response that leaps to mind is that they’ve both never heard of one another. But another similarity is their scepticism about high-flown rhetoric as a tool used to pull the wool over the eyes of the common man. One possible difference... Read More
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