Philosophical Review 115 (4):530-532 (2006)
This book examines John Locke’s claims about the nature and work- ings of language.WalterOtt proposes a new interpretation of Locke’s thesis that words signify ideas in the mind of the speaker, and argues that rather than employing such notions as sense or reference, Locke relies on an ancient tradition that understands signification as reliable indication.He then uses this interpretation to explain crucial areas of Locke’s metaphysics and epistemology, including essence, abstraction, knowledge, and mental representation. His discussion, which is the first book-length treatment of its topic, challenges many of the current orthodox readings of Locke, and will be of interest to historians of philosophy and philosophers of language alike
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