The Lockean theory of communication

Noûs 26 (3):303-324 (1992)
The Lockean theory of communication is here defined as the theory that communication takes place when a hearer grasps some sort of mental object, distinct from the speaker's words, that the speaker's words express. This theory contrasts with the view that spoken languages are the very medium of a kind of thought of which overt speech is the most basic form. This article is a critique of some of the most common motives for adopting a Lockean theory of communication. It is not enough that words in some sense express thoughts. It is not enough that animals and prelinguistic infants in some sense think. It is not enough that speakers mean something by what they say or that hearers must understand a speaker's presuppositions. On the contrary, any explanation of how children can learn to communicate in the way the Lockean imagines will presuppose that words can instill beliefs in some way more fundamental than the Lockean theory itself can explain.
Keywords linguistic communication  Locke, John
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/2215956
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,492
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
I Don't Think So: Pinker on the Mentalese Monopoly.David J. Cole - 1999 - Philosophical Psychology 12 (3):283-295.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
89 ( #59,503 of 2,180,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #302,011 of 2,180,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums