In the case of the analytic tradition, ... the central issue that seems to have guided much of the philosophy of language in the last century has been the puzzling relation between the information we seem to receive from reading and listening to other people talk and the experience of hearing people talk itself. The information we seem to receive is very rich and complex, as are its effects on us, on our psyche. Hearing people talk or reading their texts can do many things to us: it can break our hearts, and it can make us learn, it can make us laugh or cry. Yet, the linguistic signals we actually perceive – the spots we see and and the sounds we hear – are actually very simple and not very rich in content. It is obvious, therefore, that something very complex is happening, involving much more than just opening our eyes and ears. What is not obvious is what else is involved and exactly what role does it play in the process of interpretation.
From this perspective, analytic philosophy of language is more like a branch of applied epistemology, for its main question is an epistemological question: how do we know what an utterance or a text means? After all, interpretation is a process of discovery. In interpreting a text, we discover its meaning or, rather, its content. The question is how do we do it? It seems clear that some of the information we need to interpret a text is linguistic in nature. We need to be able to identify (at least some of) the words uttered and what they mean in the language they are uttered. It is also obvious that this information is not enough. However, there is still no consensus about what else is necessary, when and why.
For the last few years, the philosophy journal DIANOIA, the oldest philosophy journal in Mexico, has organized a series of events aimed at bridging the gap between the different philosophical traditions practiced in Mexico. Last year, I was invited to give a talk on the similarities, differences and relations between (analogical) hermeneutics and analytical philosophy of language. The texts resulting from those talks have been recently published in the journal. Since I know many people interested in the topic may not speak Spanish, the above is a small extract in English (not actually a translation, but more of an English version). Still, if you want to read the whole thing in Spanish, here it is. Dianoia is an open access journal, so you can read it and download it for free.