Document Type

Book Review

Publication Title

Eighteenth-Century Studies


The Johns Hopkins University Press

Publication Date

Summer 1988


Review by James C. McKusick. The Philosophy of Language in Britain: Major Theories From Hobbes to Thomas Reid. by Stephen K. Land; The Figural and the Literal: Problems of Language in the History of Science and Philosophy, 1630-1800. by Andrew E. Benjamin; Geoffrey N. Cantor; John R. R. Christie. Some of the most interesting and important recent work in the intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has concerned itself with the philosophy of language in relation to science and literature. This kind of work promises a fresh understanding of the linguistic and figural basis of the conceptual categories employed by major philosophers during this period. It has become increasingly clear that speculation concerning the nature and origin of language is not merely a digression or afterthought in the work of Locke, Berkeley, Adam Smith, or Thomas Reid. Two recent studies examine the various ways in which problems of language are intrinsic to the era's most vital intellectual issues.


©1988 The Johns Hopkins University Press

Recommended Citation

Copyright ©1988 The Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY STUDIES, Volume 21, Issue 4, Summer, 1988, pages 542-547.