The Publicity of Meaning and the Perceptual Approach to Speech Comprehension

ProtoSociology 34:144-162 (2017)
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The paper presents a number of empirical arguments for the perceptual view of speech comprehension. It then argues that a particular version of phenomenal dogmatism can confer immediate justification upon belief. In combination, these two views can bypass Davidsonian skepticism toward knowledge of meanings. The perceptual view alone, however, can bypass a variation on the Davidsonian argument. One reason Davidson thought meanings were not truly graspable was that he believed meanings were private. But if the perceptual view of speech comprehension is correct, then meanings are public objects like other perceivable entities. Hence, there is no particular problem of language comprehension, even if meanings originate in “private” mental states.
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First archival date: 2021-05-29
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