Meaning and use

Part I argues that the usc theory in Horwich’s Meaning does not give sufficient attention to the relation between language and thought. A development of the theory is proposed that gives explanatory priority to the mental. The paper also urges that Horwich’s identification of a word’s meaning by its role in explaining the cause of sentences should be broadened to include its role in explaining the linguistic and non linguistic behavior that sentences cause. Part II argues that Horwich greatly overstates the case for his use theory; that the arguments from ignorance and error against description theories of reference can be adapted against the use theory; and that a tempting development of the use theory would risk both the collapse of the theory into truth referentialism and the difficulties that have plagued truth referentialism. Finally, a consideration of our ordinary thought ascriptions provides evidence against any use theory
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00186.x
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Horwich (1998). Meaning. Oxford University Press.
Ned Block (1986). Advertisement for a Semantics for Psychology. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):615-78.

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