A scientific psychologistic foundation for theories of meaning

Minds and Machines 5 (2):187-206 (1995)
I propose, develop and defend the view that theories of meaning — for instance, a theory specifying the logical form or truth conditions of natural language sentences — should be naturalized to scientific psychological inquiry. This involves both psychologism — the claim that semantics characterizes psychological states — and scientific naturalism — the claim that semantics will depend on the data and theories of scientific psychology. I argue that scientific psychologism is more plausible than the traditional alternative, the view that a theory of meaning is a priori. After defending scientific psychologism against several objections, I offer a speculative proposal that shows how a theory of meaning can be integrated into scientific psychology
Keywords Meaning  Naturalism  Psychology  Science
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DOI 10.1007/BF00974743
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