'yo!' and 'lo!' the Pragmatic Topography of the Space of Reasons (Hardcover)
Harvard University Press, 9780674031470, 239pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Much of twentieth-century philosophy was organized around the "linguistic turn," in which metaphysical and epistemological issues were approached through an analysis of language. This turn was marked by two assumptions: that it was primarily the semantics of language that was relevant to broader philosophical issues, and that declarative assertions were the only verbal acts of serious philosophical interest. In 'Yo ' and 'Lo ' Rebecca Kukla and Mark Lance reject these assumptions. Looking at philosophical problems starting with the pragmatics of language, they develop a typology of pragmatic categories of speech within which declaratives have no uniquely privileged position. They demonstrate that non-declarative speech acts--including vocative hails ("Yo ") and calls to shared attention ("Lo ")--are as fundamental to the possibility and structure of meaningful language as are declaratives.
Entering into conversation with the work of Anglo-American philosophers such as Wilfrid Sellars, Robert Brandom, and John McDowell, and Continental philosophers including Heidegger and Althusser, 'Yo ' and 'Lo ' offers solutions (or dissolutions) to long-standing philosophical problems, such as how perception can be both inferentially fecund and responsive to an empirical world, and how moral judgment can be both objective and inherently motivating.