Knowledge and Language
1. BACKGROUND This volume is one of three which emerged from the Conference on Knowledge and Language, held from May 21-May 25, 1989, at the occasion of the 37 5th anniversary of the University of Groningen. Studying the relation between knowledge and language, one may distin guish two different lines of inquiry, one focussing on language as a body of knowledge, the other on language as a vehicle of knowledge. Approaching language as a body of knowledge one faces questions concerning its structure, and the relation with other types of knowledge. One will ask, then, how language is acquired and to what extent the acquisition of language and the structure of the language faculty model relevant aspects of other cognitive capacities. If language is approached as a vehicle for knowledge, the question comes up what enables linguistic entities to represent facts about the world. To what extent does this rely on conventional aspects of meaning? Is it possible for language, when used non-conventionally as in metaphors, to convey intersubjective knowledge? If so (and it does seem to be the case), one may wonder what makes this possible. The aim of this conference was to investigate the role of conceptual structure in cognitive processes, exploring it from the perspectives of philosophy of language, linguistics, political philosophy, psychology, liter ary theory, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science. The themes of these three volumes reflect the themes of the conference.