Context and Communication offers an introduction to a central theme in the study of language: the various ways in which what we say (or ask, or think) depends on the context of speech and thought. The period since 1970 has produced a vast literature on this topic, both by philosophers and by linguists. It is one of the areas of philosophy (and linguistics) where most progress has been made over the last few decades. This book explores some of the central data, questions, concepts, and theories of context sensitivity. It is written to be accessible to someone with no prior knowledge of the material or, indeed, any prior knowledge of philosophy, and is ideal for use as part of a philosophy of language course by students of philosophy or linguistics.
Context and Communication is the first in the series Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy of Language. Each book in the series provides an introduction to an important topic in philosophy of language. Three more volumes are in preparation, on reference, the metaphysics of meaning, and conceptual analysis and philosophical methodology. These textbooks can be used as a module in a philosophy of language course, for either undergraduate or graduate students.