33. Philosophy of Language

  1. Mary Louise Gill2 and
  2. Pierre Pellegrin3
  1. Deborah K. W. Modrak

Published Online: 8 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305845.ch33

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy

How to Cite

Modrak, D. K. W. (2012) Philosophy of Language, in A Companion to Ancient Philosophy (eds M. L. Gill and P. Pellegrin), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305845.ch33

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Brown University, USA

  2. 3

    National Center for Scientific Research (Paris), France

Author Information

  1. University of Rochester, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 2 MAY 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631210610

Online ISBN: 9781444305845



  • philosophy of language;
  • philosophers, ancient Greek treatments of language;
  • pre-Socratics and Sophists;
  • Socrates, and the search for definitions of moral terms;
  • Elenchus, cross-examination of interlocutor's beliefs;
  • Plato's structuring dialogues, defining key terms;
  • Aristotle, and the written, spoken word, mental state;
  • written and spoken words as signs, meaning-bearers;
  • Phantasia mode of sensory representation;
  • dual character of the mental state, word and object


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Pre-Socratics and Sophists

  • Socrates

  • Socrates and Plato

  • Aristotle

  • Hellenistic Philosophy

  • Conclusion

  • Bibliography