Against the Quotational Theory of Meaning Ascriptions

Studia Semiotyczne 34 (2):81-103 (2020)
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Abstract

According to the quotational theory of meaning ascriptions, sentences like “‘Bruder means brother” are abbreviated synonymy claims, such as “‘Bruder means the same as ‘brother’”. After discussing a problem with Harman’s version of the quotational theory, I present an amended version defended by Field. Then, I address Field’s responses to two arguments against the theory that revolve around translation and the understanding of foreign expressions. Afterwards, I formulate two original arguments against both Harman’s and Field’s versions of the theory. One of them targets the hyperintensionality of quotations and the other raises a problem pertaining to variant spellings of words.

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Andrea Raimondi
Nottingham University

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References found in this work

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.

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