Stephen Schiffer's writing has been central to analytic philosophy of language and mind since the 1970s. In 1972 his book Meaning launched an important research program into Gricean, or intention-based, approaches to linguistic meaning, which would come to dominate much subsequent theorizing about language. A sea change occurred in 1987 with the publication of Remnants of Meaning. Schiffer here repudiated the project initiated by Meaning, arguing that the theory of public-language meaning it described and the account of mental representation it required were based on false presuppositions. The ramifications here were far reaching and set the agenda for discussions in the philosophy of language and mind for a generation. In 2003, The Things We Mean initiated a more positive program, but one informed by the negative results of Remnants. Things also reflected the broadening of Schiffer's concerns, which w extended to metaphysics, metaethics, and the skeptical paradoxes. In Meanings and Other Things fourteen leading philosophers explore central themes in Schiffer's writings. Topics range from theories of meaning to moral cognitivism, the nature of paradox, and the problem of vagueness. The volume also contains a comprehensive introduction that describes the evolution of Schiffer's thought, and closes with Schiffer's replies to his critics, extended essays that bring us up to date on Schiffer's current thinking on the themes that have defined t only his career, but philosophy of language as it is w practised.
Gary Ostertag received his PhD at the Graduate Center, CUNY, writing under Stephen Schiffer. From 2009-2014 he was director of The Saul Kripke Center, where he oversaw the publication of Philosophical Troubles and Reference and Existence. His publications include the edited volume, Definite Descriptions: A Reader (MIT, 1998), and articles, reviews and book chapters in the philosophy of language, the history of analytic philosophy, and musical ontology. Prior to teaching at CUNY and Nassau he was Senior Programmer at Information Builders, Inc., in New York.