Internalized meaning factualism

Philosophia 34 (3):325-336. (2006)

Jakob Hohwy
Monash University
The normative character of meaning creates deep problems for the attempt to give a reductive explanation of the constitution of meaning. I identify and critically examine an increasingly popular Carnap-style position, which I call Internalized Meaning Factualism (versions of which I argue are defended by, e.g., Robert Brandom, Paul Horwich and Huw Price), that promises to solve the problems. According to this position, the problem of meaning can be solved by prohibiting an external perspective on meaning constituting properties. The idea is that if we stick to a perspective on meaning that is internal to meaning discourse, then we can preserve the normativity of meaning and yet locate meaning in the natural world. I develop a generic motivation for this position, but argue that, since this motivation is consistent with the Ramsey–Carnap–Lewis–Jackson reductionist strategy, internalized meaning factualism is unstable. The problems about the normativity of meaning can therefore not be sidestepped in this way.
Keywords meaning  reduction  internalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11406-006-9027-7
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,122
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

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Meaning.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications.David K. Lewis - 1972 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):249-258.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On Reason and Spectral Machines: Robert Brandom and Bounded Posthumanism.David Roden - 2017 - In Rosi Braidotti Rick Dolphijn (ed.), Philosophy After Nature. London - New York: Rowman & Littlefield International. pp. 99-119.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
101 ( #86,651 of 2,289,307 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #187,342 of 2,289,307 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature