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A Chomskian alternative to convention-based semantics

In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Mind. Routledge. pp. 269--301 (2010)

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  1. Demotivating Intentional Mentalism.Joachim Lipski - 2017 - Theoria 83 (4):298-318.
    Intentional Mentalism is the view that mental intentionality is primary to non-mental intentionality and that the latter is derived from the former. In this article I examine three views which have been taken to motivate Intentional Mentalism: conventionalism as invoked by Searle, Gricean pragmatism, and the language of thought hypothesis. I argue that none of these views motivates Intentional Mentalism, and that, in fact, the former two imply its rejection.
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  • Use Theories of Meaning.Marc Staudacher - 2010 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
    This dissertation is a contribution to the philosophy of language. Its central question is: In virtue of which facts do linguistic expressions mean what they do? E.g. why does “apple” mean apple in English? The question receives a systematic answer; in short: Linguistic expressions mean what they do because among their users, there are linguistic conventions and social norms to use and understand them in certain ways. The answer is clarified and defended as a central thesis. For in this form, (...)
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  • The Cognitivist Account of Meaning and the Liar Paradox.Mark Pinder - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1221-1242.
    A number of theorists hold that literal, linguistic meaning is determined by the cognitive mechanism that underpins semantic competence. Borg and Larson and Segal defend a version of the view on which semantic competence is underpinned by the cognition of a truth-conditional semantic theory—a semantic theory which is true. Let us call this view the “cognitivist account of meaning”. In this paper, I discuss a surprisingly serious difficulty that the cognitivist account of meaning faces in light of the liar paradox. (...)
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  • Interpreting Mrs Malaprop: Davidson and Communication Without Conventions.Imogen Smith - unknown
    Inspired by my reading of the conclusions of Plato’s Cratylus, in which I suggest that Socrates endorses the claim that speaker’s intentions determine meaning of their utterances, this thesis investigates a modern parallel. Drawing on observations that people who produce an utterances that do not accord with the conventions of their linguistic community can often nevertheless communicate successfully, Donald Davidson concludes that it is the legitimate intentions of speakers to be interpreted in a particular way that determine the meanings of (...)
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  • The Myth of Semantic Structure.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2010 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Objects of Inquiry in Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Ontos Verlag. pp. 1.
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  • A Metasemantic Account of Vagueness.Augustin Rayo - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vagueness, its Nature, and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 23--45.
    I argue for an account of vagueness according to which the root of vagueness lies not in the type of semantic-value that is best associated with an expression, but in the type of linguistic practice that renders the expression meaningful. I suggest, in particular, that conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to borderline cases prevail to a lesser degree than conventions about how to use sentences involving attributions of vague predicates to clear cases.
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  • Foundational Semantics I: Descriptive Accounts.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (6):397-409.
    Descriptive semantic theories purport to characterize the meanings of the expressions of languages in whatever complexity they might have. Foundational semantics purports to identify the kind of considerations relevant to establish that a given descriptive semantics accurately characterizes the language used by a given individual or community. Foundational Semantics I presents three contrasting approaches to the foundational matters, and the main considerations relevant to appraise their merits. These approaches contend that we should look at the contents of speakers’ intuitions; at (...)
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  • Conventions and Their Role in Language.M. J. Cain - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):137-158.
    Two of the most fundamental questions about language are these: what are languages?; and, what is it to know a given language? Many philosophers who have reflected on these questions have presented answers that attribute a central role to conventions. In one of its boldest forms such a view runs as follows. Languages are either social entities constituted by networks of social conventions or abstract objects where when a particular community speaks a given language they do so in virtue of (...)
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  • Coordination, Triangulation, and Language Use.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):80-112.
    In this paper, I explore two contrasting conceptions of the social character of language. The first takes language to be grounded in social convention. The second, famously developed by Donald Davidson, takes language to be grounded in a social relation called triangulation. I aim both to clarify and to evaluate these two conceptions of language. First, I propose that Davidson’s triangulation-based story can be understood as the result of relaxing core features of conventionalism pertaining to both common-interest and diachronic stability—specifically, (...)
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  • Is Literal Meaning Conventional?Andrei Marmor - 2008 - Topoi 27 (1-2):101-113.
    This paper argues that the literal meaning of words in a natural language is less conventional than usually assumed. Conventionality is defined in terms that are relative to reasons; norms that are determined by reasons are not conventions. The paper argues that in most cases, the literal meaning of words—as it applies to their definite extension—is not conventional. Conventional variations of meaning are typically present in borderline cases, of what I call the extension-range of literal meaning. Finally, some putative and (...)
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  • Linguistics, Psychology and the Scientific Study of Language.M. J. Cain - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):385-404.
    In this paper I address the issue of the subject matter of linguistics. According to the prominent Chomskyan view, linguistics is the study of the language faculty, a component of the mind-brain, and is therefore a branch of cognitive psychology. In his recent book Ignorance of Language Michael Devitt attacks this psychologistic conception of linguistics. I argue that the prominent Chomskyan objections to Devitt's position are not decisive as they stand. However, Devitt's position should ultimately be rejected as there is (...)
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  • Meaning and Mindreading.J. Robert Thompson - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (2):167-200.
    In this article, I defend Neo-Gricean accounts of language and communication from an objection about linguistic development. According to this objection, children are incapable of understanding the minds of others in the way that Neo-Gricean accounts require until long after they learn the meanings of words, are able to produce meaningful utterances, and understand the meaningful utterances of others. In answering this challenge, I outline exactly what sorts of psychological states are required by Neo-Gricean accounts and conclude that there is (...)
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