Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):177-202 (2008)

Georges Rey
University of Maryland, College Park
According to the “Folieism” I have been recently defending, communication is a kind of folie à deux in which speakers and hearers enjoy a stable and innocuous illusion of producing and hearing standard linguistic entities (“SLE”s) that are seldom if ever actually produced. In the present paper, after summarizing the main points of the view, I defend it against efforts of Barber, Devitt and Miščević to rescue SLEs in terms of social, response-dependent proposals. I argue that their underlying error is a failure to appreciate the important shift of the explanatory locus in modern linguistics, from external objects to internal conceptions. I go on to show how (i) pace Devitt, this shift is entirely compatible with there being conventional aspects to language, and also serves to distinguish the ease of natural language from the waggle dance of the bees; and (ii) pace Barber and Smith, it is compatible with an appearance / reality distinction, and with reliance on testimony in epistemology. I conclude with further arguments about why, pace Collins and Matthews, intentionality is a crucial feature of linguistic explanation, even if it is ultimately spelt out largely in terms of computational role
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1333-1108
DOI croatjphil20088212
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Linguistic Intuitions Revisited.Michael Devitt - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):833-865.
Experiencing Speech.Casey O’Callaghan - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):305-332.
Understanding as Knowledge of Meaning.Alex Barber - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):964-977.

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