David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan (2009)
The most widely accepted and well worked out approaches to the foundations of meaning take facts about the meanings of linguistic expressions at a time to be derivative from the propositional attitudes of speakers of the language at that time. This mentalist strategy takes two principal forms, one which traces meaning to belief, and one which analyzes it in terms of communicative intentions. I argue that either form of mentalism fails, and conclude by suggesting that we can do better by focusing on connections between linguistic meaning and the contents of perceptions (rather than beliefs or intentions), and by (following Kripke's approach to reference) replacing questions about the nature of meaning with questions about the nature of term introduction and meaning transmission.
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