What we say

  • Richard Henson
Part of the Controversies in Philosophy book series (COIPHIL)


Several years ago Professor Stanley Cavell (see Chapter VIII above) defended a view as to the status of a claim made by a native speaker about how he and his fellow native speakers talk — a view which has the welcome consequence that what ‘ordinary language philosophers’ say about their language does not require them to leave their armchairs. This view has recently been attacked by Jerry A. Fodor and Jerrold J. Katz (see Chapter X above). I shall not attempt a full summary of Cavell’s paper or a full defence: I do not agree with all of it that I think I understand. But the arguments put forth by Fodor and Katz, while clearly and persuasively stated, seem to me to be often mistaken or inconclusive. I shall state their major arguments in the order in which they occur, numbering them consecutively throughout.


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  1. 2.
    M. Halle ‘Phonology in a Generative Grammar’, Word, XVIII (1962) pp. 54–72).Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1971

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  • Richard Henson

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