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The Philosophy of Linguistics: Its Theoretical Groundings and Examples in Practice

(Original title: The Philosophy of Linguistics: Its Theoretical Groundings and Examples in Practice)
Filozofia, 79 (2024), 4, 426 - 441.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: English
The philosophy of language is a field that covers all kinds of philosophical reflections on language since Antiquity. In addition to the philosophy of language, there is a much newer branch of philosophy called “philosophy of linguistics.” Just like the philosophy of history, philosophy of biology, etc., the philosophy of linguistics focuses on the structure of linguistics by taking a specific science as its subject. It presents meta-theoretical information by trying to explain the underlying foundations of linguistic theories. In the first part of this article, we review the noteworthy theoretical attempts to ground the philosophy of linguistics. In the second part of the article, we briefly describe Ricoeur’s and Itkonen’s attempts at the philosophy of linguistics in response to the question of “how does the philosophy of linguistics work in practice?” Thus, we have tried to provide two concrete examples for the philosophy of linguistics: the first one concerning the 20th century, and the second, the 21th century. We found that both of them – albeit for different reasons – showed a consensus in putting Saussure, the founding father of linguistics, in the firing line. Whether the emergence of the philosophy of linguistics damaged the legitimacy of the traditional philosophy of language is discussed in the concluding section of our article.

The philosophy of linguistics, Saussure, Ricoeur, Itkonen

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