Asymmetrical dependence between causal laws does not account for meaning
Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||In (1990), Jerry Fodor has defended a naturalized conception of meaning for Mentalese expressions which relies on the notion of asymmetric dependence. According to this conception, any naturalized theory of meaning must be able to account for the fact that meaning is robust, namely that any token of a certain Mentalese expression “x” retains the expression’s meaning, X, for any Y (≠ X) which happens to cause it. Now, this robustness of “x”‘s meaning can precisely be explained in terms of the subsistence of an asymmetric dependence of any nomic connection between Ys and “x”‘s tokens on another nomic connection between Xs and “x”‘s tokens. According to Fodor, then, this relation between nomic connections can account in perfectly naturalistic terms for “x” meaning X, by providing a sufficient condition for such a meaning. In what follows, however, I will try to show, first, that the subsistence of asymmetric dependencies of the kind envisaged by Fodor is not enough for assigning meaning to a certain expression. Indeed, there are dependencies of this kind which are meaning-irrelevant. Secondly, I will claim that asymmetric dependence relations are not able even to support for the robustness of meaning. For there are cases in which according to the structure of these relations we would have to conclude that meaning is altered although robustness would require to have it unchanged.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Peter Pagin (2005). Compositionality and Context. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press.
Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2006). Ontology in the Theory of Meaning. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):325 – 335.
Kenneth R. Livingston (1993). What Fodor Means: Some Thoughts on Reading Jerry Fodor's A Theory of Content and Other Essays. Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):289-301.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Meaning and the World Order. In Psychosemantics. MIT Press.
Alberto Voltolini (1995). Is Meaning Without Actually Exisring Reference Naturalizable? Grazer Philosophische Studien 50:397-414.
Martha I. Gibson (1996). Asymmetric Dependencies, Ideal Conditions, and Meaning. Philosophical Psychology 9 (2):235-59.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads2 ( #246,545 of 739,352 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?