Language and Empiricism

My book Language and Empiricism, After the Vienna Circle, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in April 2008.

I remain interested in the relationships between language, empiricism and philosophy. I was invited to contribute an article to a forthcoming special issue of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy on experimental philosophy. My article ‘The experimental and the empirical: Arne Naess’s statistical approach to philosophy’ was published online in July 2017.

Here is the cover blurb from my 2008 book:

There is general agreement in present-day linguistics that the subject is at its best when it is empirical. However, there are a number of apparently incompatible views on what makes language study truly empirical, and even what counts as the right sort of data for the linguist to study. Siobhan Chapman offers a fresh approach to this debate by comparing it to some remarkably similar disagreements about data, methodology and the nature of empiricism in mid-twentieth century philosophy, disagreements that were largely provoked by reactions to the ideas of the Vienna Circle. Her main focus is a comparison of the work of J. L. Austin and the less well known work of Arne Naess. Despite significant differences, both said things about language that have striking resonances with much more recent claims in linguistics, particularly in fields such as corpus linguistics which deal with ‘real life’ examples of language use.