Philosophy of Language

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The Emergence of Word-Meaning in Early China

Posits the origin of a specifically Chinese concept of “word-meaning,” and sheds new light on the linguistic ideas in early Chinese philosophical texts.

The Lily's Tongue

Examines four discourses by Kierkegaard, arguing that they play a critical and surprising role in his oeuvre and contribute to the philosophy of figural language.

Effing the Ineffable

A meditation on how religious language tries to limn the liminal, conceive the inconceivable, speak the unspeakable, and say the unsayable.

Language as Bodily Practice in Early China

Challenges the idea held by many prominent twentieth-century Sinologists that early China experienced a “language crisis. ”

The Vocation of Writing

Explores how violence structures language and the writing of literature and philosophy.

Borges, Second Edition

Expanded edition with new chapters and updates to the translation and bibliography.

A Propos, Levinas

Rejects Levinas’s argument for the preeminence of ethics in philosophy.

Theology within the Bounds of Language

Explores the use of language in Christian theology.

Being Made Strange

Offers a revised understanding of human subjectivity that avoids the extremes of both traditional humanism and cultural relativism.“Acknowledging the importance of the ‘middle voice’ of rhetoric is a worthwhile endeavor. For this, Vivian’s goals are to be applauded.” — Rhetoric and Public Affairs

Yoga and Psychology

Explores the influence of yoga in the seminal Indian philosophy of Bhartrhari and in the Western psychology of Freud, Jung, and the transpersonalists, providing unique insights into the differences between Eastern and Western concepts of human nature.

The Philosopher's Voice

Explores the relationship between philosophy and politics in the work of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Marx.

Bodies of Meaning

Challenges postmodernist theories of language and politics which detach language from human bodies and their material practices.

One-Sided Arguments

A practical manual for evaluating bias that will be useful to anyone who has to deal with arguments, whether in academic reading or writing, or in everyday conversation.

Beyond the Symbol Model

This interdisciplinary conversation discusses the nature of language.

Natural and Artificial Minds

This book describes and explores six current approaches to the study of mind: the neuroscientific, the behavioral, the competence approach, the ecological, the phenomenological, and the computational. ...

Ineffability

Scharfstein describes the extraordinary powers that have been attributed to language everywhere, and then looks at ineffability as it has appeared in the thought of the great philosophical cultures: India, ...