Ways of Meaning, second edition
The philosophy of language is not an isolated philosophical discipline of merely technical interest to other philosophers. Rather, as Mark Platts shows, the philosophy of language can help to solve traditional problems in other areas of philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Ways of Meaning provides a clear, comprehensive introduction to such issues at the forefront of philosophy. Assuming only minimum knowledge of elementary formal logic, the book shows how taking truth as the central notion in the theory of meaning can clarify the relations between language, reality, and knowledge, and thus illuminate the nature of each.
This second edition of the book contains a new chapter on the notions of natural-kind words and natural kinds. Unlike other discussions of the subject, this one places the semantic issues involved in the context of questions about the relations between knowing subjects and known objects. The author has also added a bibliography of further readings published since the first edition appeared in 1979.
"This is the book that turned on a generation of philosophers of language—turned them on to the Davidsonian program, that is ... More than that, he surveyed a number of natural language constructions, showing how they could be handled in such a framework, and thereby mapping out the landscape of what has since become a full-blown philosophical research program."
—Peter Ludlow, State University of New York at Stony Brook