Download Meaning Without Representation: Expression, Truth, by Steven Gross PDF

By Steven Gross

A lot modern brooding about language is lively by way of the concept that the middle functionality of language is to symbolize how the area is and that accordingly the idea of illustration may still play a primary explanatory function in any clarification of language and language use. top thinkers within the box discover a number of methods this concept might be challenged in addition to stumbling blocks to constructing a variety of varieties of anti-representationalism. specific realization is given to deflationary bills of fact, the position of language in expressing psychological states, and the normative and the average as they relate to problems with illustration. The chapters additional quite a few basic debates in metaphysics--for instance, about the query of discovering a spot for ethical homes in a naturalistic world-view--and light up the relation of the new neo-pragmatist revival to the expressivist flow in analytic philosophy of language.

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Extra info for Meaning Without Representation: Expression, Truth, Normativity, and Naturalism

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But it could have been otherwise; we could have used ‘grass is green’ to mean this. It is our substantive truth theory—for Davidson, a top-down interpretive semantic theory—that will tell us whether a metalinguistic phrase maps on to the homophonic object language equivalent. It is only a matter of ‘convenience’, as Davidson puts it, when our metalanguage and object language are homophonic or homographic. In a similar spirit, Putnam writes: The property to which Tarski gives the name ‘True-in-L’ is a property that the sentence ‘Snow is white’ has in every possible world in which snow is white, including worlds in which what it means is that snow is green … A property that the sentence ‘Snow is white’ would have (as long as snow is white) no matter how we might use or understand that sentence isn’t even doubtfully or dubiously ‘close’ to the property of truth.

For that matter, just as there is no such thing as interpersonal synonymy, there is no such thing as intrapersonal synonymy either: questions about whether I mean the same thing by ‘S’ now as I did when I was ten (or as I did last week) rely just as thoroughly on an inflationary notion of ‘real meanings’ that can be compared from a metalinguistic stance as do more traditional translation questions. All we can say about meaning, strictly speaking, is that when someone says ‘S’, that utterance means S in the current idiolect of the speaker.

This universal claim might, depending on a host of considerations that fall outside of the scope of this chapter, have to be qualified to accommodate the semantic paradoxes. We will have more to say about this in footnote 7. 2 3 Deflationism, Pragmatism, and Metaphysics 27 is well-formed, of course, only if S is a declaratival sentence. ) Fleshing out what this means is surprisingly non-trivial. Various self-avowed deflationists have taken the equivalence in question to be synonymy,4 material equivalence, necessary material equivalence, or cognitive equivalence.

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