The Occamization of 'Meaning': Ryle and Brentano

Logique & Analyse 256:511-532 (2021)
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Abstract

To Occamize a nominal expression N is to show that, despite grammatical appearances, N does not name, or denote, an entity. This article argues that the Occamization of ‘meaning,’ which was central to Gilbert Ryle’s meta-philosophy, had already been advanced by Franz Brentano. The core thesis of the article is that Brentano’s notion of ‘content,’ albeit different from that of linguistic rules, does a similar job of eliminating expendable entities. If the meaning of a linguistic expression is not an entity at all, then the question as to what kind of entity it is—what I shall call the Locke-Frege problem—turns out to be a pseudo-problem and is better dispensed with.

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Arnaud Dewalque
University of Liège

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