For much of the 20th century language was seen as central to our understanding of the world.  Wittgenstein famously claimed, 'the limits of my language mean the limits of my world'.  Derrida, 'there is nothing outside of the text'.  But now it seems language is being quietly jettisoned as either containing puzzles that are insoluble, or irrelevant to the real issues facing us. A major American philosopher, Hilary Putman, went as far as to say "the project to describe the relationship between language and the world is a shambles".

Are we right to conclude that the puzzle of language and the world is not solvable?   Should we double down on our efforts to crack the problem of language and not give up?  Or can we comfortably focus not on the medium but on the message, and return to an era before the so-called 'linguistic turn' when language was seen as transparent and the core topics of debate were our beliefs and theories?

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