Naturalist Theories of Meaning

In E. Lepore & B. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford: OUP 175-188 (2006)
To begin with the former, representation is as familiar as it is puzzling. The English sentence ‘ Santiago is east of Sacramento’ represents the world as being a certain way. So does my belief that Santiago is east of Sacramento. In these examples, one item—a sentence or a belief—lays claim to something else, a state of affairs, which may be far removed in space and time. This is the phenomenon that naturalist theories of meaning aim to explain. How is it possible for one thing to stand for something else in this way?
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Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199552238.003.0008
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