The Puzzle of Names in Ockham's Theory of Mental Language

Review of Metaphysics 50 (1):79 - 99 (1996)
There is a tension within Ockham's theory of mental language between its claim to being a semantics for conventional languages and its claim to being a model of concept acquisition and thought. In particular, the commitment to a redundancy-free mental language which serves to explain important semantic relations such as synonymy and ambiguity conflicts, _prima facie, with the possibility of opaque belief contexts. I argue that it is preferable to treat the theory of mental language as an idealized theory of cognitive competence than to forfeit, as Jerry Fodor does, the commitment to conceptual parsimony
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