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How does language describe the world?

We effortlessly use language to describe the world. Yet the puzzle of how language achieves this has stumped philosophers for a century. Are we simply missing the right theory? Or is something more profound at stake if language does not in fact provide descriptions of the world at all.

In this week’s video from the Institute of Art and Ideas, 2017 Lebowitz Prize-winning philosopher Nancy Cartwright, closure theorist Hilary Lawson and Director of the Centre for Logic and Language Corine Besson uncover the limits of language.

This video was produced by The Institute of Art and Ideas and is republished here with permission.  It was filmed at HowTheLightGetsIn 2016 alongside 200 other debates and talks, all available for free at IAI TV. Their new podcast, Philosophy for our times, is available here.

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