I have just signed a contract with Palgrave Macmillan to write a book based on my current research project on the British analytic philosopher Susan Stebbing. Here is a very brief account of why I am interested in Stebbing.
In her article ‘Recent themes in the history of early analytic philosophy’ in Journal of the History of Philosophy, Juliet Floyd argues persuasively that an understanding of developments in analytic philosophy from the early part of the twentieth century is an important part of the intellectual history of a variety of present day disciplines, including linguistics. She also suggests that this understanding can be assisted in part by the construction of narratives around some of the major figures in the field. In her conclusion Floyd claims that the study of early analytic philosophy ‘is likely to stretch itself to include assessment of less well-known figures who were interested in the logical or conceptual analysis of meaning’ (p. 198). This strikes me as a particularly exciting prospect for future research.
I am very pleased to have received a copy of Miriam Urgelles-Coll’s new monograph The Syntax and Semantics of Discourse Markers, which has just been published in the series Continuum Studies in Theoretical Linguistics, of which I am general editor. This is the second book to be published in the series, following Michael Fortescue’s A Neural Network Model of Lexical Organisation. Gerard O’Grady’s Grammar of Spoken English Discourse is due to be published later this year.
Last week I was in Oslo for the Arne Naess Memorial Seminar, an event organised by the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo. It was great to hear talks on various aspects of Naess’s work, and to have the chance to talk to a number of people who knew and worked with Naess at different stages in his career. I will be back in Oslo next year for a seminar focussing on Naess’s work in semantics and its relation to logical positivism, run by the Seminar in Science Studies at the University.
Key Ideas in Linguistics and the Philosophy of Language, which I have co-edited with Christopher Routledge, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2009.
The Norwegian philosopher and environmentalist Arne Naess died on Monday, two weeks short of his 97th birthday. The Associated Press announcement, along with most of the tributes now being paid to Naess, focus on his ecological work and appropriately so; the ‘Deep Ecology’ movement, which he founded in 1970, is his greatest intellectual legacy. But Naess is also a significant figure in the history of analytic philosophy. He was the last surviving philosopher to have attended meetings of the Vienna Circle in the 1930s, and during the 1950s and 60s he was a sparrring partner for his near contemporaries such as A. J. Ayer and J. L. Austin. Perhaps most significantly, his dissatisfaction with logical positivism led him to pioneer methods of language study that prefigured developments in branches of linguistics such as sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics by some thirty years. He was a major intellectual figure of the twentieth century.
I am very pleased recently to have signed up as Series Editor of Continuum Studies in Theoretical Linguistics.
This new series publishes work in the forefront of present-day developments in the field. The series is open to studies from all branches of theoretical linguistics and to the full range of theoretical frameworks. Titles in the series present original research that makes a new and significant contribution and are aimed primarily at scholars in the field, but are clear and accessible, making them useful also to students, to new researchers and to scholars in related disciplines.
We are now accepting proposals for the series for research monographs or edited collections. Guidelines for preparing proposals can be found at the Continuum website.
The first title in the series, Deviational Syntactic Structures by Hans Gotzsche, is due to be published in February 2010.
I’m pleased to see a review by Nicola Lennon of my book Thinking about Language: Theories of English, together with Lesley Jeffries’s book Discovering Language: The Structure of Modern English in the current issue of Language and Literature. These are the two books that launched the Palgrave series Perspectives on the English Language.
My book Paul Grice, Philosopher and Linguist, first published in 2005, is now available in paperback.