Getting Clear about Equivocal Concepts [Book Review]

Disputatio 13:1 - 14 (2002)
Authors
Nicholas Shea
School of Advanced Study, University of London
Abstract
Just how far can externalism go? In this exciting new book Ruth Millikan explores a radically externalist treatment of empirical concepts (Millikan 2000). For the last thirty years philosophy of mind’s ties to meaning internalism have been loosened. The theory of content has swung uncomfortably on its moorings in a fickle current, straining against opposing ties to mind and world. In this book Millikan casts conceptual content adrift from the thinker: what determines the content of a concept is not cognitively accessible. She has only the stanchion of the world to hold her theory fast. She hopes that the tide will turn, and the theory of meaning will come stably to rest downstream of this anchor. This book is a bold exploration of how that might be achieved.
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