Expression, thought, and language

Philosophia 31 (1-2):33-54 (2003)
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Abstract

This paper discusses an "expressive constraint" on accounts of thought and language which requires that when a speaker expresses a belief by sincerely uttering a sentence, the utterance and the belief have the same content. It will be argued that this constraint should be viewed as expressing a conceptual connection between thought and language rather than a mere empirical generalization about the two. However, the most obvious accounts of the relation between thought and language compatible with the constraint (giving an independent account of one of either linguistic meaning or thought content and understanding the other in terms of it) both face serious difficulties. Because of this, the following will suggest an alternative picture of the relation between thought and language that remains compatible with the constraint

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Henry Jackman
York University

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