Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism

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Cambridge University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 338 pages
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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