'Philosophy for Linguists: An Introduction' is an informative, easy-to-read introduction to linguistics within the sphere of philosophy. From Plato, through Frege and Russell, past Tarski and Davidson, addressing Austin, Ryle and Grice as well as taking time out to consider Whorf, Sapir, Saussure and Chomsky (amongst many others), Siobhan Chapman's book is a deceptive gem for the philosophy of language student or "interested reader" in the subject. It's deceptive because it's a sweet, modest but, above all, informative book (not quite what one would expect from a "philosophy of language" book) and manages to condense potentially hundreds of pages into a short, persuasive read. Unlike other publications, the information provided seeks not to elevate itself above its reader (thus confusing and confounding him or her with multi-syllable words only a lexicographer would be familiar with) but instead revels in being the reader's companion, explaining numerous concepts and ideas within five clearly-defined chapters (Words and things, Propositions and logic, Truth and reality, Speakers and hearers, Language and mind). The style and presentation of each of the chapters is non-threatening and easily accessible and even the involvement of arguably irrelevant and unrelated data, in the form of biographical information (for example did you know that Wittgenstein spent part of his time as a teacher and gardener?) is a welcome addition.
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