The Pragmatics of Revision

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The Pragmatics of Revision, my study of the rewritings of George Moore, is published this month by Palgrave Macmillan. It is available in both ebook and hardback versions. I’m very pleased finally to see this long-standing project in print.

Philosophy of Language: The Key Thinkers

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It’s good to see the second edition of Barry Lee’s Philosophy of Language, The Key Thinkers published by Bloomsbury. As well as revised versions of the chapters from the first edition, there’s a new chapter by me on Susan Stebbing, and an excellent new introduction to Feminist Philosophy of Language by Maura Tumulty.

Pragmatics and Literature

lal.35.hbPragmatics and Literature, a new collection of essays co-edited with Billy Clark, was published by Benjamins in their Linguistic Approaches to Literature series in December 2019. Here is the description from the back cover:

Pragmatics and Literature is an important collection of new work by leading practitioners working at the interface between pragmatic theory and literary analysis. The individual studies collected here draw on a variety of theoretical approaches and are concerned with a range of literary genres. All have a shared focus on applying ideas from specific pragmatic frameworks to understanding the production, interpretation and evaluation of literary texts. A full-length introductory chapter highlights distinctions and contrasts between pragmatic theories, but also brings out complementarities, shared aims and assumptions, and ways in which different pragmatic theories can make different contributions to our understanding of literary texts. The book as a whole encourages a sense of coherence for the field and presents insights from various approaches for systematic comparison. Building on previous work by the editors, the contributors and others, it makes a significant contribution to the growing field of pragmatic literary stylistics.

Citizens of Everywhere

My article in the current edition of Babel, The Language Magazine on Susan Stebbing and her relevance to the current social and political climate is now available in full on the blog of the Citizens of Everywhere project, which is led by the Centre for New and International Writing at the University of Liverpool. The article can be found here.

(In Parenthesis)

Over the weekend I was in Durham for a workshop of the (In Parenthesis) project. We had some fascinating discussions about the work of the Oxford philosophers Mary Midgley, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot and Iris Murdoch, and about the contribution of women more generally to mid twentieth century philosophy.

Babel, The Language Magazine

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The latest issue of Babel, The Language Magazine is out now, and contains some great articles and features.

I have contributed to the regular ‘Lives in Language’ slot, writing about L. Susan Stebbing. I am struck yet again by the insight and indeed the prescience of her later work on critical thinking. In 1939 Stebbing published Thinking to Some Purpose, motivated by what she described as the ‘urgent need for a democratic people to think clearly without the distortions due to unconscious bias and unrecognised ignorance’, a need which seems just as pressing now as it did eighty years ago.

Pragmatic Literary Stylistics

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Pragmatic Literary Stylistics, which I have co-edited with Billy Clark, has just been published in the series Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition.

‘Susan Stebbing and the Language of Common Sense’

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My study of the life and work of the philosopher L. Susan Stebbing has now been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

BABEL The Language Magazine

Babel-mag-issue1 Babel, a new quarterly magazine about all issues concerned with language, has just been launched. The first issue is available free via the magazine’s website here. It includes an article about the life and work of H. Paul Grice in the first of what is to be my regular series of articles on ‘Lives in Language’.

‘In Our Time’

It’s always nice when philosophical issues get a public airing. I enjoyed Melvyn Bragg’s ‘In Our Time’ discussion programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday, which was concerned with the nature of the distinction between Continental and Analytic philosophy. Poor Melvyn sounded increasingly despairing as the programme went on of pinning his guests down on the questions of the intellectual, chronological or geographical circumstances of the divide between the two fields, but managed nevertheless to chair a very interesting discussion. The programme is available here.