Deviation from Linguistic PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
This process, in which language is placed at the center of philosophy, is the process in which we also learn how misleading language can be, especially starting with Kant.
Especially in the dialectic part of his first critique, Kant showed how many issues that philosophers have not hesitated to speak about for centuries exceed the limits of reason, in other words, how illusory the language we use while doing metaphysics can be.
Frege’s studies taught that the language we use about numbers causes us to treat numbers as if they are non-linguistic entities, whereas when we analyze the logic of language sufficiently, true propositions about numbers can be handled within language. In addition, Russell Paradox has revealed that defining sets with verbal expressions can lead to contradictions, therefore, it is necessary to impose some restrictions on the use of language. In short, language can mislead us. Therefore, the primary concern of philosophy is to understand the workings of language and to limit its use in a way that protects ourselves from errors and illusions. Before questions such as what exists or does not exist, what we know and what we do not know, the question of what we can express and to what extent has become the main subject of philosophy. This shift of focus in philosophy is also called “turn to linguistic philosophy” (Eng. “turn to lingusitic philosophy” or “lingusitic turn”).
Richard Rorty’s anthology entitled “linguistic turn” popularized the term: Richard Rorty (ed.) (1967) The Linguistic Turn: Recent Essays in Philosophical Method. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago and London. The first use of the term is attributed to the Austrian philosopher Gustav Bergmann (1906 – 1987).
The 20th century has witnessed two different phases of the said philosophy of language, two different ways of doing it, one after the other. In the first of these phases, the analysis of language based on the logic that started to develop after Frege and making the distinction between the meaningful and the non-significant based on these analyzes came to the fore. In the second phase, philosophers have turned to the language itself as we use it in our daily life, rather than based on logic as an ideal-formal language.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook