Event Title

The Uncertainty of Sino-Tibetan and Altaic Languages in John Stuart Mill's

Mentor 1

Dr. Mary Krizan

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

John Stuart Mill’s 1843 publication Of Names excluded certain eastern languages—for example, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian, of the Sino-Tibetan and Altaic families, respectively. In doing so, Mill’s notions of surnames and given names diminish his credibility. I will quote Mill to show directly these notions, and then I will show specific examples of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian given and surnames and how these names transcend Mill’s proposed categorical naming system. This system requires that given names or surnames cannot both denote a singular person and connote a person’s qualities or attributes. / / This is important because of what it could mean for Mill’s other works, and, possibly, for other philosophy of language. Could western philosophers have gotten it wrong? In other words, philosophy of language generally applies to the theory of all language, so if much or even just part of the languages in discussion thus far has been incomplete, then there is a fundamental problem with the discipline itself. Does that mean abolishing all previous or incomplete works? Should language philosophers more deeply consider the vast variety of languages in operation, or should the discipline separate between language families? These questions get at the very heart of language philosophy, and though they may never be truly answered, I would argue that a more universal philosophy of language theory should be put forth, emphasized, and utilized if the field is to reach the most important depths. This broader philosophy of language can be done relatively easily, and the first and most important step includes studying new languages, especially those most different from the philosopher’s mother tongue. /

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

The Uncertainty of Sino-Tibetan and Altaic Languages in John Stuart Mill's

Union Wisconsin Room

John Stuart Mill’s 1843 publication Of Names excluded certain eastern languages—for example, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian, of the Sino-Tibetan and Altaic families, respectively. In doing so, Mill’s notions of surnames and given names diminish his credibility. I will quote Mill to show directly these notions, and then I will show specific examples of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian given and surnames and how these names transcend Mill’s proposed categorical naming system. This system requires that given names or surnames cannot both denote a singular person and connote a person’s qualities or attributes. / / This is important because of what it could mean for Mill’s other works, and, possibly, for other philosophy of language. Could western philosophers have gotten it wrong? In other words, philosophy of language generally applies to the theory of all language, so if much or even just part of the languages in discussion thus far has been incomplete, then there is a fundamental problem with the discipline itself. Does that mean abolishing all previous or incomplete works? Should language philosophers more deeply consider the vast variety of languages in operation, or should the discipline separate between language families? These questions get at the very heart of language philosophy, and though they may never be truly answered, I would argue that a more universal philosophy of language theory should be put forth, emphasized, and utilized if the field is to reach the most important depths. This broader philosophy of language can be done relatively easily, and the first and most important step includes studying new languages, especially those most different from the philosopher’s mother tongue. /