Linguistic philosophy

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Linguistic philosophy is the view that philosophical problems are problems which may be solved (or dissolved) either by reforming language, or by understanding more about the language we presently use. [1] The former position is that of ideal language philosophy, the latter the position of ordinary language philosophy. [2]

Ordinary language philosophy is a philosophical methodology that sees traditional philosophical problems as rooted in misunderstandings philosophers develop by distorting or forgetting what words actually mean in everyday use. "Such 'philosophical' uses of language, on this view, create the very philosophical problems they are employed to solve." Ordinary language philosophy is a branch of linguistic philosophy closely related to logical positivism.


See also

Linguistic turn

The linguistic turn was a major development in Western philosophy during the early 20th century, the most important characteristic of which is the focusing of philosophy and the other humanities primarily on the relations between language, language users, and the world.

A philosophical language is any constructed language that is constructed from first principles, like a logical language, but may entail a strong claim of absolute perfection or transcendent or even mystical truth rather than satisfaction of pragmatic goals. Philosophical languages were popular in Early Modern times, partly motivated by the goal of recovering the lost Adamic or Divine language. The term ideal language is sometimes used near-synonymously, though more modern philosophical languages such as Toki Pona are less likely to involve such an exalted claim of perfection. It may be known as a language of pure ideology. The axioms and grammars of the languages together differ from commonly spoken languages today.


  1. Rorty 1967, page 3.
  2. Rorty 1967.

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This is an index of articles in philosophy of language


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