Thinking of 'not'

A certain direction in cognitive science has been to try to “ground” public language statements in some species of mental representation. A central tenet of this trend is that communication – that is, public language – succeeds (when it does) because the elements of this public language are in some way correlated with mental items of both the speaker and the audience so that the mental state evoked in the audience by the use of that piece of public language is the one that the speaker wanted to evoke. The “meaning”, therefore, of an utterance – and of the parts of an utterance, such as individual sentences and their parts, the individual words, etc. – is, in this view, some mental item. Successful communication requires that there be widespread agreement amongst speakers of the same public language as to the mental entities that are correlated with any particular public words.
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