Philosophy Research Seminar: Professor Siobhan Chapman (University of Liverpool)
|Starts:||15:15 17 Nov 2021|
|Ends:||16:50 17 Nov 2021|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
This seminar will be taking place on campus, and in person, at Roscoe 2.3. If you are unable to come to campus, a zoom option will be available - please contact Dr Stephen Ingram to request the relevant zoom info.
- Alice Ambrose, Margaret MacDonald and the Problems of Ordinary Language
- Alice Ambrose (1906-2001) and Margaret MacDonald (1907-1956) are recorded in the history of analytic philosophy largely in terms of their relationship to Ludwig Wittgenstein. They took notes at his Cambridge lectures and discussion groups in the 1930s, which became some of the most important sources of information about his thinking in the period of transition between his earlier and later work. In this paper I will argue that both need to be recovered and reconsidered as significant philosophers in their own right, who have important contributions to make to the familiar problems posed by ordinary language in relation to philosophy. Ambrose worked mainly in mathematics and symbolic logic, but she also brought clarity to the various ways in which ordinary language featured in contemporary philosophical discussion, and identified the centrality of ‘linguistic innovation’ to much philosophical practice. MacDonald argued that many philosophical problems can be solved by understanding how language is ordinarily used, and published her case before more celebrated ‘ordinary language philosophers’, most notably J. L. Austin. She also set out ideas and terminology which were later to be associated with Austin’s speech act theory in her contributions to ethics and aesthetics. Both Ambrose and MacDonald contributed to and extended the application of the study of natural language in analytic philosophy in ways which deserve to be recovered and to be subjected to further philosophical scrutiny.
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