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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The expression ‘the linguistic turn’ was introduced by Gustav Bergmann in his review of Peter Strawson’s Individuals in 1960. Bergmann (1906–87) was best known for his idiosyncratic writings on ontology and for the school of Iowa ontologists he inspired. His review article, published in the Journal of Philosophy, was entitled ‘Strawson’s Ontology’, and was largely concerned with outlining Bergmann’s own methodology and conception of philosophy. The linguistic turn, according to Bergmann, is a ‘fundamental gambit as to method’ agreed upon by two different groups of linguistic philosophers: ‘ordinary language philosophers’ (exemplified, in Bergmann’s view, by Strawson) and ‘ideal language philosophers’ (such as Bergmann himself). The expression ‘the linguistic turn in philosophy’ is used as a characterization of a change of direction in the development of analytic philosophy. This chapter explores the linguistic turn in analytical philosophy, its beginnings in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, the link between logical empiricism and the linguistic turn, and Oxford philosophy and the linguistic turn.

Keywords: linguistic turn, Gustav Bergmann, analytic philosophy, Wittgenstein, Vienna Circle, connective analysis, philosophical methodology, ideal language philosophy, ordinary language philosophy

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