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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.