Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism
Michael Devitt is a distinguished philosopher of language. In this new book he takes up issues in semantics. Three important questions lie at the core of this book: What are the main objectives of semantics? Why are they worthwhile? How should we accomplish them? Devitt answers these "methodological" questions naturalistically and explores what semantic program arises from the answers. The approach is anti-Cartesian, rejecting the idea that linguistic or conceptual competence yields any privileged access to meanings. Devitt argues for a truth-referential localism and in the process rejects direct-reference, two-factor, and verificationist theories. The book concludes by arguing against revisionism, eliminativism, and the idea that we should ascribe narrow meanings to explain behavior.
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advert analyticity argue argument ascribe for semantic ascribe meanings attitude ascriptions belief box Big Felix Cartesianism causal causal modes chapter claim concern confirmation holism consider constitute its meaning construal content sentence context dependency d-chains description theories direct-reference discussion distinction doctrine echidna eliminativism eliminativist epistemic evidence example explain behavior Fido'-Fido theory Fodor folk psychology Fregean functional role functional-role hence inferential properties intuitions involving laws linguistic localistic properties Lycan meaning ascribed mental methodological solipsism mode of referring molecular narrow meanings NARROW PSYCHOLOGY normative object Ortcutt principled basis problem properties of tokens property of referring propositional knowledge propositions putative meaning Quine Quinean Ralph believes referential reject relations Representationalism Representationalist Revisionism Ruritania semantic holism SEMANTIC LOCALISM semantic purposes semantic role semantic task singular term Smith's murderer sort specified Stich synonymy syntactic properties t-clause thoughts and utterances tion transparent truth conditions two-factor verificationism verificationist virtue wide meanings word