13 found

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  1.  41
    Speaking Your Mind: Expression in Locke's Theory of Language.Lewis Powell - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:15-30.
    There is a tension between John Locke’s awareness of the fundamental importance of a shared public language and the manner in which his theorizing appears limited to offering a psychologistic account of the idiolects of individual speakers. I argue that a correct understanding of Locke’s central notion of signification can resolve this tension. I start by examining a long standing objection to Locke’s view, according to which his theory of meaning systematically gets the subject matter of our discourse wrong, by (...)
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  2.  4
    Intentionality and Publicity.Madeleine L. Arseneault - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:44-56.
    This paper analyzes the central relation between publicity, linguistic meaning, and the mental in the light of philosophical issues concerning intentionality. The concept of intentionality provides a way to articulate how the determinants of linguistic meaning are both public and private. A strength of this approach is that it accommodates desiderata of explaining compositionality and successful communication that initially seemed at odds with each other. A further benefit is that thinking about the case of linguistic meaning can help re-focus our (...)
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  3.  10
    The Publicity of Meaning and the Perceptual Approach to Speech Comprehension.Berit Brogaard - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:144-162.
    The paper presents a number of empirical arguments for the perceptual view of speech comprehension. It then argues that a particular version of phenomenal dogmatism can confer immediate justification upon belief. In combination, these two views can bypass Davidsonian skepticism toward knowledge of meanings. The perceptual view alone, however, can bypass a variation on the Davidsonian argument. One reason Davidson thought meanings were not truly graspable was that he believed meanings were private. But if the perceptual view of speech comprehension (...)
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  4.  1
    The Axial Age and Modernity.Vittorio Cotesta - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:217-240.
    This essay highlights the theoretical relations between Weber, Jaspers and Eisenstadt on the issue of the axial age and modernity. For Weber Modernity is an “axial age” but also an event in the history of Western rationalization. So we can’t say which is his idea on this topic. For Jaspers the axial revolution took place at the same time in China, India, and Greece. Modernity can’t be an “axial age” because it took place in the West and only after in (...)
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  5.  8
    A Puzzle About Context and Communicative Acts.Daniel W. Harris - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:119-143.
    A context-directed theory of communicative acts is one that thinks of a communicative act as a proposal to change the context in some way. I focus on three influential examples: Robert Stalnaker’s theory of assertion, Craige Roberts’ theory of questions, and Paul Portner’s theory of directives. These theories distinguish different categories of communicative acts by distinguishing the components of context that they aim to change. I argue that the components of context they posit turn out not to be distinct after (...)
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  6.  13
    Meaning, Publicity and Knowledge.Marija Jankovic & Greg Ray - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:98-115.
    An influential view about the relationship between publicity and linguistic meaning is brought into question. It has been thought that since public languages are essentially public, linguistic meaning is subject to a kind of epistemic cap so that there can be nothing more to linguistic meaning than can be determinately known on the basis of publicly available evidence. Given the thinness of such evidence, a well-known thesis follows to the effect that linguistic meaning is substantially indeterminate. In this paper, we (...)
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  7.  2
    Quine, Publicity, and Pre-Established Harmony.Gary Kemp - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:59-72.
    ‘Linguistic meaning must be public’ – for Quine, here is not a statement to rest with, whether it be reckoned true or reckoned false. It calls for explication. When we do, using Quine’s words to piece together what he thought, we find that much too much is concealed by the original statement. Yes, Quine said ‘Language is a social art’; yes, he accepts behaviourism so far as linguistic meaning is concerned; yes, he broadly agrees with Wittgenstein’s anti-privacy stricture. But precisely (...)
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  8.  1
    Analyses on Arbitrariness of Chinese Characters From the Perspective of Morphology.Feng Li - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:181-196.
    The arbitrariness of a sign is considered a universal feature and a well-established property of the world’s languages by many linguists, which makes languages flexible and facilitates distinguishing the particular referents to words. However, there are some exceptions in the case of Chinese, a language quite different from western languages. This article analyzes Chinese’s arbitrariness mainly from the perspective of word formation and will show that Chinese characters, which were iconic originally, depart from this universal feature to a great extent. (...)
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  9.  5
    Reflections on Davidsonian Semantic Publicity.Richard N. Manning - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:73-97.
    The topic of the present essay is the proper understanding of Donald Davidson’s version of the publicity requirement for the determinants of linguistic meaning. On the understanding I promote, the requirement is very strict indeed. My narrow aim is to show how such a strict conception of the publicity requirement can be maintained despite the evident need for interpreters to go beyond what is public on that conception in the process of constructing Davidsonian theories of meaning. Towards that aim, I (...)
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  10.  5
    Introduction.Richard N. Manning - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:5-11.
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  11.  7
    Meaning, Communication, and the Mental.Patrick Rysiew - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:31-43.
    Thomas Reid rejected ‘the theory of ideas’ in favor of perceptual direct realism and a fallibilist foundationalism. According to Reid, contact with the common and public extra-mental world is as much a part of our natural psychological and epistemological starting point as whatever special type of relation we have to the contents of our own minds. Like the general perceptual and epistemological views Reid was countering, an individualistic, idea-centered approach to language and communication continues to have a grip on theorists. (...)
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  12.  2
    Local Meaning, Public Offense.Robert Shanklin - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:163-177.
    The internalist-externalist debate about semantic and mental contents concerns whether the contents of certain claims and beliefs depend on facts external to the people having those beliefs or not. However, rather than just join up with either side, I argue for re-casting the debate so as to allow for hybrid internalist-externalist views, on the grounds that such views can help explain certain phenomena associated with slurs and pejoratives. If the debate can indeed be recast in this way and if hybrid (...)
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  13.  1
    Formal Semantics of English Sentences with Tense and Aspect.Wenyan Zhang - 2017 - ProtoSociology 34:197-216.
    As common expressions in natural language, sentences with tense and aspect play a very important role. There are many ways to encode their contributions to meaning, but I believe their function is best understood as exhibiting relations among related eventualities. Accordingly, contra other efforts to explain tense and aspect by appeal to temporal logics or interval logics, I believe the most basic and correct way to explain tense and aspect is to articulate these relations between eventualities. Building on these ideas, (...)
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