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Davidson and the language of new media

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This article claims that attempts to define the language of new media (LNM) as a unique linguistic phenomenon face problems stemming from a definition of language that takes knowledge of linguistic rules to be essential for understanding. I suggest that Davidson's later philosophy of language, as outlined in his 1986 paper 'A nice derangement of epitaphs', and especially his rejection of traditional definitions of language and understanding, offers an enlightening and important insight to the question of how understanding is achieved by the LNM. Although preceding the digital era, I argue that Davidson's redefinition of linguistic understanding as not necessarily rule dependent enables us to better understand our linguistic time in general and the LNM in particular.
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Keywords: Davidson; language of new media; linguistic rules; linguistic understanding; malapropism; theory of communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000419370546 Tel-Aviv University

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • Empedocles aims to provide a publication and discussion platform for those working at the interface of philosophy and the study of communication, in all its aspects. This Journal is published in cooperation with the Section for the Philosophy of Communication of ECREA, the European Communication Reserach and Education Association.
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