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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.Read more
- Devitt is a big name in the field of philosophy of language with several books to his credit
- Major contribution to the philosophy of language that argues against several fashionable theories
- Devitt is Australian, though teaching in the USA, and there should be a strong interest amongst Australian philosophers
Reviews & endorsements
"This technical and groundbreaking work about the nature of linguistic meaning and its relationship to empirical possibilities should create a stir in linguistic circles. Recommended." The Reader's ReviewSee more reviews
"The work is wide ranging, heavily detailed, and argument dense..." Benjamin F. Armstrong, Jr., Review of Metaphysics
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- Date Published: October 1995
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521498876
- length: 352 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.45kg
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. A critique of the case for semantic holism
2. The methodology of naturalistic semantics
3. A case for semantic localism
4. Meanings and their ascription
5. Eliminativism and revisionism.
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