This volume is devoted to ancient theories of language. The chapters range over more than eight hundred years of philosophical enquiry, and provide critical analyses of all the principal accounts of how it is that language can have meaning and how we can come to acquire linguistic understanding. The discussions move from the naturalism examined in Plato's Cratylus to the sophisticated theories of the Hellenistic schools and the work of St. Augustine. The relations between thought about language and metaphysics, philosophy of mind and the development of grammar are also explored.
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Plato on understanding language
Cratylus theory of names and its refutation
Aristotle on names and their signification
Epicurus on mind and language
The Stoic notion of a lekton
Parrots Pyrrhonists and native speakers
Analogy anomaly and Apollonius Dyscolus
Aenesidemus analytical philosophy ancient animals answer Apollonius Apollonius Dyscolus argument Aristotle Aristotle's account Augustine Augustine's beliefs biped cause Chrysippus claim complete concepts correct cows Cratylus definition dialogue Diogenes Diogenes Laertius Diogenes of Oenoanda Dion discussion distinction distinguish doctrine ennoema enquiry Epicurean Epicurus epistemology essence esti evidence exist explain expression fact false Forms G. E. L. Owen Galen goatstag grammar grasp Greek Hdtm Hermogenes idea incomplete inference instance interpretation Kiihn knowledge language lekta lekton linguistic logical Lucretius meaning metaphysical mind name signifies non-accidentally notion object Parmenides particular passage perception Phaedo philosophical Phronesis Plato predicate prolepseis proposition psychological question recognise reference relation relevant require semantic sense sentence Sextus Sextus Empiricus signifies one thing simple names single affirmations Socrates Sophist speak speaker speech Stoics suggests Theaetetus theory thought thunder true unambiguous examples understand utterance verb Vlastos Wittgenstein words