Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism
Michael Devitt is a distinguished philosopher of language. In this book he takes up one of the most important difficulties that must be faced by philosophical semantics: namely, the threat posed by holism. 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 programme arises from the answers. The approach is anti-Cartesian, rejecting the idea that linguistic or conceptual competence yields any privileged access to meanings. This new methodology is used first against holism. 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 behaviour.
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advert analyticity argue argument ascribe for semantic ascribe meanings attitude ascriptions belief box Big Felix Cartesianism causal chapter claim confirmation holism consider constitute its meaning construal content sentence context dependency d-chains defmition description theories direct-reference discussion distinction doctrine echidna eliminativism eliminativist epistemic evidence example explain behavior Fido'-Fido theory Fodor Fregean functional role functional-role hence identity inferential properties intuitions involving laws localistic properties Lycan meaning ascribed meanmg mental methodological solipsism methodology 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 semantic holism SEMANTIC LOCALISM semantic purposes semantic role semantic task singular term Smith's murderer sort specified Stich synonymy syntactic properties t-clause thought experiments thoughts and utterances tion transparent truth conditions two-factor verificationist virtue wide meanings word