THE BOOK "PHILOSOPHICAL SEMANTICS: TOWARDS A NEW ORTODOXY, shall be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2017
The assumption of this book is that the philosophy of language made before the Second World War was often deeper and stronger than the kind of analytic philosophy that began to be built in the fifties and that today is almost hegemonic. This later Anglo-American philosophy of language has cumulated smart scientist-formalist objections against all kinds of truisms accepted by the old analytic philosophy: against the analytic-synthetic distinction, against the relevance of meaning, against verificationism, against the correspondence theory of truth, against cognitivist internalism, against descriptivist approaches to reference, against the higher-order view of existence, against analysis of meaning… with the result that the descriptive metaphysics, which is a systematic enterprise relying on commonsensical truisms as point of departure and aiming comprehensiveness turned to be almost impossible. The stalemate of much of the present philosophy of language results from the authority of these views, which corrupt philosophy through a positivist-scientist fragmentation of its procedures, turning philosophy a maidservant of science and stealling from its central domains their authentic epistemic place. This book aims to show the force of the old ideas, on the one hand by restructuring them under new forms, on the other by bringing evidence to the ultimately equivocal character of most of the new ideas.
This book can also be read as the reconsideration of a program developed by Ernst Tugendhat in his main work, Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Analytische Philosophie, from 1976, a program later abandoned under the pressure of the new ortodoxy formed by the American causalist and externalist theories of reference and meaning developed particularly by Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. This return means a combat in two fronts. First, it is the attempt to deep the insights developed by Tugendhat, what is made by means of a reacessment of Wittgenstein's, Frege's and Husserl's views, to name the main philosophers that have contributed to build the view defended by Tugendhat. The main result of this is a renewed defense of verificationism, complemented by a renewed acessment of the correspondence theory of truth. The second front is a internalist-cognitivist answer to the challenges created by the externalist theories of reference from Kripke to Urmson, what is done, for instance, by the development of a new form of descriptivist theory of proper names able to answer Kripke's objections.