Tracking the Domains of Conventional Signs

I want now to argue that just as no intentional representations of retinal images intervene between physical objects and the seeing of those objects, no representations of speaker intentions in speaking need intervene between world affairs spoken of by speakers and hearers' understandings of those words.1 When conventional signs are true or satisfied and when this has come about in the normal way, conventional signs are locally recurrent natural signs. True, tokens of the same conventional sign may have diverse etiologies, through different people's perceptual systems and cognitive systems. They differ from more ordinary recurrent natural signs in that there will usually be numerous different kinds of causal paths to their production, depending on the ways that different speakers have managed to translate diverse prior natural signs into a uniform medium of thought and expression. But there are reasons why the same linguistic form continues to coincide with the same kind of represented affair over a certain domain --it is no accident-- and we have decided to take that as the primary criterion for a locally recurrent sign (Chapter Six). Assuming that this step in the production of a conventional sign has been accomplished through normal mechanisms --the speaker is not confused, does not lie, and so forth-- then reading a conventional sign is mainly a matter of tracking its natural domain, that is, determining what reproducing family it has been copied from. Compare tracking the..
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