I'm looking for pointers towards texts that treat the issue of "doing philosophy with language" as a foundational problem-- which must be justified in order to go on and make meaningful statements about "normal" problems in philosophy.
I've read from epistemology texts. I understand them but I don't believe them. The texts I've found so far don't discuss or attempt to show that they are not merely playing a language game, but rather are making progress in philosophy.
I'm looking for thought and texts that attempt to justify or "bootstrap" language, or the terms of discussion. I'm looking for a philosophy that includes the problem of doing philosophy itself, especially communicating philosophy with language, as a foundational issue.
Long explanation (feel free to skip):
What do I mean by 'doing philosophy with language' as a foundational problem? Let's ask: what's the goal of a philosophy text? Many natural and quick answers are similar to:
The goal of a philosophy text is to say something true and valuable (or to "gain clarity") about fundamental questions.
But what does this mean? It's well acknowledged that there are different theories of truth and value. What then does it mean to "do philosophy", and how is it possible that by doing it we could achieve something? My argument here frames the basic issue in epistemology-- how can something be known?-- but in terms of "meaning" rather than "truth". So, borrowing from epistemology, it seems there must either be "foundational" axioms of meaning, or a "coherentist" process by which a text can create and justify its own meaning as a whole (or some mix of the two).
I have looked at contemporary epistemology texts (including texts about skepticism) but so far every text I've come across seems to make the tacit assumption that it's okay to just start writing in English about epistemology. I'm looking for texts that question everything that happens or must exist before the first sentence can be written and understood.
Wittgenstein (and his secondary literature) has been the most helpful so far. To rephrase what I'm trying to get at-- to the best of my understanding, the epistemology texts I've seen fail to address the possibility that they themselves are playing a language game rather than making progress towards truth and knowledge.
Can you recommend any texts that might enlighten my thinking? Have I made a mistake or somehow misconceived the problem? Happy to hear any thoughts you have.