What is it for marks or sounds to have meaning, and what is it for someone to mean something in producing them? Answering these and related questions, Schiffer explores communication, speech acts, convention, and the meaning of linguistic items in this reissue of a seminal work on the foundations of meaning. A new introduction takes account of recent developments and places his theory in a broader context.
In this foundational work on the theory of linguistic and mental representation, Stephen Schiffer surveys all the leading theories of meaning and content in the philosophy of language and finds them lacking. He concludes that there can be no correct, positive philosophical theory or linguistic or mental representation and, accordingly advocates the deflationary "no-theory theory of meaning and content." Along the way he takes up functionalism, the nature of propositions and their suitability as contents, the language of thought and other (...) sententialist theories of belief, intention based semantics, and related issues in ontology. Stephen Schiffer is Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A Bradford Book. (shrink)
David’s epistemic understanding of two-dimensional semantics has these two features. First, although he considers at least two construals of epistemically possible worlds, on one of them they are centered metaphysically possible worlds. Second, David intends epistemic two-dimensional semantics to yield a theory of propositional-attitude content, as well as having application to the semantics of natural language expressions. These two features come together in David’s “The Components of Content,” where he deploys the apparatus of epistemic two-dimensional semantics to provide an account (...) of propositional-attitude content, and where, for reasons of simplicity and familiarity, epistemically possible worlds are taken to be centered metaphysically possible worlds. My talk is about this account of content. (shrink)