Knowing the Meaning of a Word: Shared Psychological States and the Determination of Extensions

Mind and Language 32 (1):101-121 (2017)
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Abstract

What is it to know the meaning of a word? The traditional view is that it involves the possession of a concept that determines the extension of a word, with the concept corresponding to a single psychological state. Millikan criticizes this view, denying not only that concepts determine extensions but also that sharing a concept means sharing a psychological state. The purpose of this article is to defend a modified version of the traditional view. I argue that Millikan's claims do not translate directly into a thesis about word meaning. Her arguments relate to an extra-linguistic approach to extension, which we can distinguish from a linguistically oriented notion of extension.

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Timothy Pritchard
King's College London

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Truth and Other Enigmas.Michael Dummett - 1980 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 170 (1):62-65.

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