How to Think about Meaning develops an even more radical mentalist semantics, which it does by shifting the object of semantic inquiry. Whereas for classical semantics the object of analysis is an abstract sentence or utterance such as "Grass is green," for attitudinal semantics the object of inquiry is a propositional attitude such as "Speaker so-and-so thinks grass is green." Explicit relativization to some speaker S allows for semantic theory then to make contact with psychology, sociology, historical linguistics, and other empirical disciplines.The attitudinal approach is motivated both by theoretical considerations and by its practical success in dealing with recalcitrant phenomena in the theory of meaning. These include: presuppositions as found in hate speech, and more generally the connotative force of evaluative language; the problem of how to represent ambiguity; quotation and the use-mention distinction; and the liar paradox, which appears to contradict truth-based semantics.
"Technically exact, highly readable, and illustrated with valuable examples, ...here is a book to counterbalance decades of misdirected anti-psychologistic semantic dogma." Prof. Dale Jacquette, Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A. According to truth-conditional semantics, to explain the meaning of a statement is to specify the conditions necessary and sufficient for its truth. This book develops a more radical mentalist semantics by shifting the object of semantic inquiry. Classical semantics analyzes an abstract sentence or utterance such as "Grass is green"; in attitudinal semantics the object of inquiry is a propositional attitude such as "Speaker so-and-so thinks grass is green".
- Philosophical Studies Series 109
- Verlag: Springer / Springer Netherlands
- Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2007
- Seitenzahl: 300
- Erscheinungstermin: 22. November 2010
- Abmessung: 235mm x 155mm x 16mm
- Gewicht: 458g
- ISBN-13: 9789048174607
- ISBN-10: 9048174600
- Artikelnr.: 32094707
"How to Think about Meaning provides a novel mentalist approach to linguistic meaning, one that is informed by current research methods in cognitive science and the growing influence of cognitive linguistics. It also draws attention to, and provides an analysis of, important aspects of language (such as connotation) that have been neglected by contemporary philosophers of language. There is really nothing unoriginal about this work." Prof. Marga Reimer, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, USA