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Ostension: Word Learning and the Embodied Mind

Chad Engelland


This book focuses on the significance of ostension in first word learning, which it distinguishes from ostensive definition. It begins by discussing ostension in contemporary philosophy, especially in the work of Quine, Davidson, and Gadamer. It explores relevant empirical findings in psychology, evolutionary anthropology, and neuroscience. It offers original studies of four representative historical thinkers whose work enriches the understanding of ostension: Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, and Aristotle. Building on these philosophical and empirical foundations, the book offers a met ... More

Keywords: philosophy of language, ostension, ostensive definition, philosophy of mind, language acquisition, phenomenology, Wittgenstein, Augustine, Quine, other minds

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780262028097
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262028097.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Chad Engelland, author
University of Dallas