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Abstract

The article presents Charles Taylor’s critical philosophy of language and it reviews his recent book on the human linguistic capacity. Critical philosophy of language is understood here as a broad (philosophical, social and political) perspective on language characterized by multifaceted concern with the linguistic and cognitive mechanisms involved in language use. The paper discusses Taylor’s interest in language and philosophy of language, and focuses on his seminal distinction between the ‘designative-instrumental’ and ‘constitutive-expressive’ theories of language. In the former theory language is understood within the confi nes of Cartesian representational epistemology, whereas in the latter language constitutes meaning and shapes human experience (one of the features important for defi ning the critical approach to philosophy of language).
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