Language warnings

Have you ever noticed that you can tell a fair amount about the speaker by the way s/he uses the language?

Imagine trying to determine the intention of the speaker in these conversations:

He: I love you very, very much.


He: I love you.

That is very, very true!!


That is true.

Bob’s rule: The more adverbs the more likely the speaker is BSing or hiding intent.

SS: on language

How is it that we learn to speak and think in language so easily? Philosophers have argued about whether or not we have innate ideas. Whether we are born knowing things, as Plato believed, or rather, as John Locke and other empiricists argued, the mind is a blank slate on which experience writes. Noam Chomsky, gave a twist to this debate in the 1960s. Narrated by Gillan Anderson. Scripted by Nigel Warburton. From the BBC Radio 4 series about life’s big questions – A History of Ideas. This project is from the BBC in partnership with The Open University, the animations were created by Cognitive.

On language



. . . Taylor’s book is a richly informative and admirable attempt to delineate “the full shape of the human linguistic capacity” (as its subtitle has it). More than that, it affords a model of what it is to be a genuine philosopher: at an age when most philosophers have either given up altogether or else fallen into dogmatically repeating views that they have long since held, Taylor continues an open-minded search for the right answers, drawing not only on the older literature from philosophy and several other disciplines that he has long since mastered but also on a wealth of newer literature from an equally wide range of sources.