Designed for readers new to the subject, Reading Philosophy of Language presents important writings by leading figures in the field, such as Austin, Chomsky, Davidson, Dummett and Searle. Three texts are presented on each of six key topics: speech and performance; meaning and truth; knowledge of language; meaning and compositionality; and non-literal meaning. Extensive editorial material guides readers through these texts. The editors provide an introduction to the text as a whole, outlining the subject's principal concerns, and explaining how these give rise to the particular questions broached in each chapter. Chapter introductions then locate each piece in context and provide background on relevant terminology and theories; interactive commentaries help readers to engage with the texts, and acquaint them with alternative positions that might be taken on key issues.
Jennifer Hornsby is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners (co-edited with Samuel Guttenplan and Christopher Janaway, Blackwell, 2003) is among her recent publications. Guy Longworth is Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London.