Meaning

Edited by Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins University)
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History/traditions: Meaning

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  1. A Semantic Analysis of Russellian Simple Type Theory.Sten Lindström - 1986 - In Paul Needham & Jan Odelstad (eds.), Changing Positions, Essays Dedicated to Lars Lindahl on the Occassion of His Fiftieth Birthday. Uppsala:
    As emphasized by Alonzo Church and David Kaplan (Church 1974, Kaplan 1975), the philosophies of language of Frege and Russell incorporate quite different methods of semantic analysis with different basic concepts and different ontologies. Accordingly we distinguish between a Fregean and a Russellian tradition in intensional semantics. The purpose of this paper is to pursue the Russellian alternative and to provide a language of intensional logic with a model-theoretic semantics. We also discuss the so-called Russell-Myhill paradox that threatens simple Russellian (...)
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  2. Hyperintensional Semantics: A Fregean Approach.Mattias Skipper & Jens Christian Bjerring - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    In this paper, we present a new semantic framework designed to capture a distinctly cognitive or epistemic notion of meaning akin to Fregean senses. Traditional Carnapian intensions are too coarse-grained for this purpose: they fail to draw semantic distinctions between sentences that, from a Fregean perspective, differ in meaning. This has led some philosophers to introduce more fine-grained hyperintensions that allow us to draw semantic distinctions among co-intensional sentences. But the hyperintensional strategy has a flip-side: it risks drawing semantic distinctions (...)
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  3. Significado e Cognição. O Legado de Frege.João Branquinho - 2016 - In Léo Peruzzo Júnior E. Bortolo Valle (ed.), Filosofia da Linguagem. Curitiba, PR, Brasil: pp. 9 - 52.
    Queremos neste ensaio caracterizar de modo introdutório o essencial do legado de Gottlob Frege para a Filosofia da Linguagem contemporânea, identificando e caracterizando os traços distintivos mais genéricos de uma teoria do significado (ou conteúdo semântico) inspirada nas suas ideias seminais e contrastando-a com outras concepções actuais influentes acerca do significado, em especial as posições sobre o conteúdo singular (conteúdo expresso por nomes próprios e outros termos singulares) remotamente inspiradas em ideias de John Stuart Mill.
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  4. Cognition and Content.João Branquinho - 2005 - Lisboa, Portugal: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa.
    Os tópicos e problemas filosóficos discutidos no volume são de natureza bastante variada: a natureza da complexidade computacional no processamento de uma língua natural; a relação entre o significado linguístico e o sentido Fregeano; as conexões entre a a agência e o poder; o conteúdo semântico da ficção; a explicação dos impasses éticos; a natureza dos argumentos cépticos; as conexões entre as dissociações cognitivas e o carácter modular da mente; a relação entre a referência e o significado. Estes tópicos deixam-se (...)
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  5. The Dilemma Imposed on the Realist by Putnam's and Kripkensteinian Argument.Henrik Sova - 2017 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 10 (1):62-82.
    In this article, I have two aims. Firstly, I argue that Hilary Putnam's model theoretic indeterminacy argument against external realism and Saul Kripke's so-called Kripkensteinian argument against semantic realism have the same dialectical structure and the same conclusion---both force the opponent to face the same dilemma. Namely: either adopt meaning minimalism or postulate unobservable semantic facts. Secondly, I analyze more closely the first horn of the dilemma---meaning minimalism. This is the position according to which there are no truth conditions for (...)
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  6. Why Philosophers Shouldn’T Do Semantics.Herman Cappelen - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):743-762.
    The linguistic turn provided philosophers with a range of reasons for engaging in careful investigation into the nature and structure of language. However, the linguistic turn is dead. The arguments for it have been abandoned. This raises the question: why should philosophers take an interest in the minutiae of natural language semantics? I’ll argue that there isn’t much of a reason - philosophy of language has lost its way. Then I provide a suggestion for how it can find its way (...)
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  7. What Makes Logical Truths True?Constantin C. Brîncuș - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (3): 249-272.
    The concern of deductive logic is generally viewed as the systematic recognition of logical principles, i.e., of logical truths. This paper presents and analyzes different instantiations of the three main interpretations of logical principles, viz. as ontological principles, as empirical hypotheses, and as true propositions in virtue of meanings. I argue in this paper that logical principles are true propositions in virtue of the meanings of the logical terms within a certain linguistic framework. Since these principles also regulate and control (...)
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  8. A Note on M. Barbieri’s “Scientific Biosemiotics”.Marc Champagne - 2009 - American Journal of Semiotics 25 (1/2):155-161.
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  9. Cyberpunk Entre Literatura E Matemática: Processos Comunicacionais da Literatura Massiva Na Crítica Científica da Realidade.Rafael Duarte Oliveira Venancio - 2013 - Conexão 12 (23).
    O presente artigo busca definir o movimento literário cyberpunk a partir da sua influência teórica vinda do campo da matemática. Utilizando a teorização interna ao movimento, centrada em Rudy Rucker, o objetivo aqui é entender como os campos da análise e dos fundamentos da matemática criam uma importante distinção entre os cyberpunks e as demais distopias literárias. Com isso, há a pressuposição de um movimento de uma crítica sociomatemática feita pelos cyberpunks cujos conceitos matemáticos tornam possível criticar o tempo presente, (...)
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  10. Lies, Half-Truths, and Falsehoods About Tarski’s 1933 “Liar” Antinomies.John Corcoran & Joaquin Miller - 2012 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 18 (1):140-141.
    We discuss misinformation about “the liar antinomy” with special reference to Tarski’s 1933 truth-definition paper [1]. Lies are speech-acts, not merely sentences or propositions. Roughly, lies are statements of propositions not believed by their speakers. Speakers who state their false beliefs are often not lying. And speakers who state true propositions that they don’t believe are often lying—regardless of whether the non-belief is disbelief. Persons who state propositions on which they have no opinion are lying as much as those who (...)
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  11. Συμφραστικός πίνακας λέξεων στο ποιητικό έργο του Γιώργου Σεφέρη [Concordance to the poems of Georgios Seferis].I. N. Kazazis, Vincent C. Müller & Evina Sistakou (eds.) - 2003 - Centre for the Greek Language.
    Concordance of the poetic works of Giorgos Seferis which presents all the principal “words” of the texts in an alphabetical list, stating how often each word occurs, giving a precise location and a relevant piece of text for each occurrence. We found ca. 9500 different Greek words in 39000 different occurrences, so our concordance has 50.000 lines of text. The technical procedure required four main steps: text entry and tagging, production of the concordance, correction of the contexts, formatting for print.
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  12. Deictic Codes, Demonstratives, and Reference: A Step Toward Solving the Grounding Problem.Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller - 2002 - In Wayne D. Gray & Christian D. Schunn (eds.), Cogsci 2002, 24th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 762-767.
    In this paper we address the issue of grounding for experiential concepts. Given that perceptual demonstratives are a basic form of such concepts, we examine ways of fixing the referents of such demonstratives. To avoid ‘encodingism’, that is, relating representations to representations, we postulate that the process of reference fixing must be bottom-up and nonconceptual, so that it can break the circle of conceptual content and touch the world. For that purpose, an appropriate causal relation between representations and the world (...)
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  13. Are There Understanding-Assent Links?Åsa Wikforss - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    Abstract: It is commonly held that there are internal links between understanding and assent such that being semantically competent with an expression requires accepting certain sentences as true. The paper discusses a recent challenge to this conception of semantic competence, posed by Timothy Williamson (2007). According to Williamson there are no understanding-assent links of the suggested sort, no internal connection between semantic competence and belief. I suggest that Williamson is quite right to question the claim that being semantically competent with (...)
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  14. Husserl's Logical Investigations.Kevin Mulligan & Barry Smith - 1986 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 27:199-207.
    The magisterial analyses of logic and meaning advanced in Husserl's Logical Investigations of 1900/01 have for a number of reasons been neglected by analytical philosophers in subsequent decades. This state of affairs has to do, in part, with the history of the editions and translations of Husserl's writings. Findlay's readable but imperfect translation appeared seventy years after the work itself was first published, and the editors and translators and expositors of Husserl's works have reflected the prevailing philosophical atmosphere on the (...)
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  15. Wittgenstein, Winch, Kripkenstein y la posibilidad de la crítica.Pedro Karczmarczyk - 2013 - Cuadernos de Filosofía 30:07-37.
    The present paper deals with the consequences Kripke’s interpretation of Wittgenstein’s private language argument has for political and social thought. We will show this is particularly important because it challenges the framework where ordinarily is located the discussion of the political and social relevance of Wittgenstein’s thought. Classical discussion has been concerned mainly with the role of communitary agreement, its relativistic or conservative consequences, the room for criticism and disagreement that it leaves, etc. We discern in classical reading a commitment (...)
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  16. Kantian Neuroscience and Radical Interpretation.Jim Hopkins - forthcoming - In Festschfrift for Mark Platts.
    This is an unedited version of a paper written in 2012 accepted for publication in a forthcoming Festschrift for Mark Platts. In it I argue that the Helmholtz/Bayes tradition of free energy neuroscience begun by Geoffrey Hinton and his colleagues, and now being carried forward by Karl Friston and his, can be seen as a fulfilment of the Quine/Davidson program of radical interpretation, and also of Quine’s conception of a naturalized epistemology. -/- This program, in turn, is rooted in Helmholtz’s (...)
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  17. Attention and Meaning. The Attentional Basis of Meaning.G. Marchetti, G. Benedetti & A. Alharbi (eds.) - 2015 - Nova Science Publishers.
    Among the cognitive processes involved in the construction of any kind of meaning, attention is fundamental in determining why, how and what we mean. Attention plays a primary role in the process of learning the meanings of words and more generally of acquiring knowledge; signification, discourse and persuasion; perceiving, representing and (re)framing reality; shaping the attitudes of the audience; conveying values and ideologies. Conversely, the meanings of words and more generally, of signs, convey the condensed instructions for the attentional operations (...)
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  18. Lmn-2 Interacts with Elf-2. On the Meaning of Common Statements in Biomedical Literature.Stefan Schulz & Ludger Jansen - 2006 - In KR-MED 2006 – Biomedical Ontology in Action. Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Formal Knowledge Representation. MD. pp. 37-45.
    Statements about the behavior of biological entities, e.g. about the interaction between two proteins, abound in the literature on molecular biology and are increasingly becoming the targets of information extraction and text mining techniques. We show that an accurate analysis of the semantics of such statements reveals a number of ambiguities that is necessary to take into account in the practice of biomedical ontology engineering. Several concurring formalizations are proposed. Emphasis is laid on the discussion of biological dispositions.
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  19. A Priority and Existence.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - In Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press. pp. 197.
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  20. Review of Vagueness.Adam Morton - 1995 - Philosophical Books 36 (4):272-276.
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  21. Saul Kripke: Philosophical Troubles: Collected Papers, Volume 1. [REVIEW]Stephen Yablo - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):221-229.
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  22. Predication.Paolo Leonardi - 2011 - Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan.
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  23. Merleau-Ponty on Meaning, Materiality, and Structure.John T. Sanders - 1994 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 25 (1):96-100.
    Against David Schenck's interpretation, I argue that it is not absolutely clear that Merleau-Ponty ever meant to replace what Schenck refers to as the "unity of meanings" interpretation of "structure" with a "material meanings" interpretation. A particular problem-setting -- for example, an attempt to understand the "truth in naturalism" or the "truth in dualism" -- may very well require a particular mode of expression. I argue that the mode of expression chosen by Merleau-Ponty for these purposes, while unfortunate in some (...)
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  24. What Is Meaning? By Scott Soames. Soochow University Lectures in Philosophy.Sergeiy Sandler - 2012 - The European Legacy 17 (5):708 - 709.
    The European Legacy, Volume 17, Issue 5, Page 708-709, August 2012.
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  25. Verità E Significato: Scritti di Filosofia Del Linguaggio – By Paolo Casalegno. [REVIEW]Andrea Bianchi & Marco Santambrogio - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (2):300-303.
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  26. Comparative Superlatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 1986 - In N. Fukui, T. Rapoport & E. Sagey (eds.), Anna Szabolcsi 1986 MIT WPL 8. MIT Press.
    I will make the following two main claims: (4) a. Under syntactically specifiable conditions superlatives take sentential scope. b. Sentential scope superlatives are necessarily indefinite.
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  27. Proposal for a Shared Evolutionary Nature of Language and Consciousness (2010).Christophe Menant - 2010 - Dissertation, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Saint Petersburg
    It is pretty obvious that language and human consciousness entertain tight relations. We could not really be conscious of ourselves without the possibility to say “I” or “me”. And language is a key contributor in our capability to identify ourselves as conscious entities existing in the environment. But the relations linking language and consciousness are complex and difficult to analyze. Evolutionary origins of language are unknown as no fossil traces have been left by our ancestors. Sciences of consciousness however begin (...)
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  28. Reference Magnetism and the Reduction of Reference.J. R. G. Williams - manuscript
    *This work has turned into a bigger project, and some of it is published in "Lewis on reference".* Some things, argues Lewis, are just better candidates to be referents than others. Even at the cost of attributing false beliefs, we interpret people as referring to the most interesting kinds in their vicinity. How should this be accounted for? In section 1, I look at Lewis’s interpretationism, and the reference magnetism it builds in (not just for ‘perfectly natural’ properties, but for (...)
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  29. Review of "Gavagai" by David Premack.Stephen Walker - 1987 - Mind and Language 2 (4):326-332.
    Gavagai! or the Future History of the Animal Language Controversy By DAVID PREMACK.
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  30. A Note on M. Barbieri's "Scientific Biosemiotics".Marc Champagne - 2009 - American Journal of Semiotics 25 (1/2):155-161.
    A densely-packed critique of some current trends in semiotics.
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  31. Collaborative Creation of Teaching Learning Sequences and an Atlas of Knowledgge.Nagarjuna G. - 2009 - Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal Online 3 (3):23.
    The article is about a new online resource, a collaborative portal for teachers, which publishes a network of prerequisites for teaching/learning any concept or an activity. A simple and effective method of collaboratively constructing teaching-learning sequences is presented. The special emergent properties of the dependency network and their didactic and epistemic implications are pointed. The article ends with an appeal to the global teaching community to contribute prerequisites of any subject to complete the global roadmap for an altas being built (...)
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  32. On the Identification of Properties and Propositional Functions.George Bealer - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (1):1 - 14.
    Arguments are given against the thesis that properties and propositional functions are identical. The first shows that the familiar extensional treatment of propositional functions -- that, for all x, if f(x) = g(x), then f = g -- must be abandoned. Second, given the usual assumptions of propositional-function semantics, various propositional functions (e.g., constant functions) are shown not to be properties. Third, novel examples are given to show that, if properties were identified with propositional functions, crucial fine-grained intensional distinctions would (...)
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  33. Ontology in the Theory of Meaning.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2006 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):325 – 335.
    This paper advances a general argument, inspired by some remarks of Davidson, to show that appeal to meanings as entities in the theory of meaning is neither necessary nor sufficient for carrying out the tasks of the theory of meaning. The crucial point is that appeal to meaning as entities fails to provide us with an understanding of any expression of a language except insofar as we pick it out with an expression we understand which we tacitly recognize to be (...)
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  34. Information and Meaning in Life, Humans and Robots (2005).Christophe Menant - 2005 - Dissertation, Paris Foundations of Information Sciences
    Information and meaning exist around us and within ourselves, and the same information can correspond to different meanings. This is true for humans and animals, and is becoming true for robots. We propose here an overview of this subject by using a systemic tool related to meaning generation that has already been published (C. Menant, Entropy 2003). The Meaning Generator System (MGS) is a system submitted to a constraint that generates a meaningful information when it receives an incident information that (...)
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  1. Platonic and Aristotelian Influences in the Philosophy of Language: A Case for the Priority of the Cratylus.Hayden Kee - 2016 - Maritain Studies/Etudes Maritainiennes 32:72-82.
    Aristotle’s De Interpretatione has been referred to as the most influential text to be written in the history of semantics. I argue, however, that it is Plato who lays the foundation for subsequent reflection on signification. In the Cratylus, Plato confronts the two prevalent views of his time on the nature of the relationship between a name and a thing named: conventionalism, which holds that there is an arbitrary, imposed relationship between names and what they name; and naturalism, which holds (...)
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  2. Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):797-808.
    In 'Aboutness' (MIT Press 2014), Yablo argues for the importance of the notions of partial content and partial truth. This paper argues that they are involved in a much greater range of entities than acknowledged by Yablo. The paper also argues that some of those entities involve a notion of partial satisfaction as well as partial existence (validity).
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  3. Which Symbol Grounding Problem Should We Try to Solve?Vincent C. Müller - 2015 - Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 27 (1):73-78.
    Floridi and Taddeo propose a condition of “zero semantic commitment” for solutions to the grounding problem, and a solution to it. I argue briefly that their condition cannot be fulfilled, not even by their own solution. After a look at Luc Steels' very different competing suggestion, I suggest that we need to re-think what the problem is and what role the ‘goals’ in a system play in formulating the problem. On the basis of a proper understanding of computing, I come (...)
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  4. Fictive Interaction and the Nature of Linguistic Meaning.Sergeiy Sandler - forthcoming - In Esther Pascual & Sergeiy Sandler (eds.), The conversation frame: Forms and functions of fictive interaction. John Benjamins.
    One may distinguish between three broad conceptions of linguistic meaning. One conception, which I will call “logical”, views meaning as given in reference (for words) and truth (for sentences). Another conception, the “monological” one, seeks meaning in the cognitive capacities of the single mind. A third, “dialogical”, conception attributes meaning to interaction between individuals and personal perspectives. In this chapter I directly contrast how well these three approaches deal with the evidence brought forth by fictive interaction. I examine instances of (...)
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  5. The Poetics of Mind. [REVIEW]James Edwin Mahon - 1996 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 4:202-203.
    Review of Gibbs' book in which he argues against the twin assumptions that language is inherently literal, and that thought itself is literal. Metaphors, etc., are omnipresent in language, Gibbs argues, and the mind is inherently 'poetic', i.e., it engages in figurative thinking. For example, we conceptualize anger as "ANGER IS HEATED FLUID IN A CONTAINER" (p. 7), and as a result, that is how we talk about anger ('Bill is getting hot under the collar,' 'She blew up at me', (...)
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  6. Week Eleven: Objections to Jackson.Brian Weatherson - manuscript
    One of the benefits of the 2D framework we looked at last week was that it explained how we could understand a sentence without knowing which proposition it expressed. And we could do this even if we give an account of understanding which is closely tied to the possible worlds semantics we use to analyse propositions. Really this can be done very easily, without appeal to any high-flying Kripkean cases. In “Analytic Metaphysics” Jackson discusses a very simple case of it. (...)
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  7. What Is Meaning? By Scott Soames. Soochow University Lectures in Philosophy.Sergeiy Sandler - 2012 - The European Legacy 17 (5):708 - 709.
    The European Legacy, Volume 17, Issue 5, Page 708-709, August 2012.
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  8. The Meaning-Sharing Network.John Haglund & Johan Blomberg - 2010 - Hortues Semioticus 6:17-30.
    We advocate an analysis of meaning that departs from the pragmatic slogan that “meaning is use”. However, in order to avoid common missteps, this claim is in dire need of qualification. We argue that linguistic meaning does not originate from language use as such; therefore we cannot base a theory of meaning only on use. It is important not to neglect the fact that language is ultimately reliant on non-linguistic factors. This might seem to oppose the aforementioned slogan, but it (...)
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  9. Inside and Outside Language: Stroud's Nonreductionism About Meaning.Hannah Ginsborg - 2011 - In Jason Bridges, Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Essays for Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that Stroud's nonreductionism about meaning is insufficiently motivated. First, given that he rejects the assumption that grasp of an expression's meaning guides or instructs us in its use, he has no reason to accept Kripke's arguments against dispositionalism or related reductive views. Second, his argument that reductive views are impossible because they attempt to explain language “from outside” rests on an equivocation between two senses in which an explanation of language can be from outside language. I offer a (...)
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  10. Does Meaning Evolve?Mark D. Roberts - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):401 - 426.
    A common method of making a theory more understandable is to compare it to another theory that has been better developed. Radical interpretation is a theory that attempts to explain how communication has meaning. Radical interpretation is treated as another time-dependent theory and compared to the time-dependent theory of biological evolution. The main reason for doing this is to find the nature of the time dependence; producing analogs between the two theories is a necessary prerequisite to this and brings up (...)
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  11. Psychologism in Semantics.Michael McKinsey - 1983 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):1 - 25.
    According to grice, Semantic concepts like meaning and reference should be explicated in terms of the propositional attitudes. In this paper, I argue that grice's program is mistaken in principle. I first motivate a gricean strategy for defining denotation, Or semantic reference, In terms of rules that govern what speakers may refer to with the terms they use. I then express three paradigm gricean theories of denotation and introduce considerations which show that these theories are false.
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  12. Meaning and Truth.P. F. Strawson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge.
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  13. Meaning and Argument. A Theory of Meaning Centred on Immediate Argumental Role.Cesare Cozzo - 1994 - Almqvist & Wiksell.
    This study presents and develops in detail (a new version of) the argumental conception of meaning. The two basic principles of the argumental conception of meaning are: i) To know (implicitly) the sense of a word is to know (implicitly) all the argumentation rules concerning that word; ii) To know the sense of a sentence is to know the syntactic structure of that sentence and to know the senses of the words occurring in it. The sense of a sentence is (...)
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  14. The Internal Basis of Meaning.Michael McKinsey - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (June):143-69.
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  15. The Semantic Basis of Externalism.Michael McKinsey - 2001 - In J. Campbell, M. O. Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth. New York: Seven Bridges Press.
    1. The primary evidence and motivation for externalism in the philosophy of mind is provided by the semantic facts that support direct reference theories of names, indexi- cal pronouns, and natural kind terms. But many externalists have forgotten their sem- antic roots, or so I shall contend here. I have become convinced of this by a common reaction among externalists to the main argument of my 1991 paper AAnti-Individual- ism and Privileged Access.@ In that argument, I concluded that externalism is (...)
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Deflationary Theories of Meaning
  1. Gary Ostertag (Ed.), Meanings and Other Things: Themes From the Work of Stephen Schiffer. [REVIEW]Indrek Reiland - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 7.
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