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Meaning, Expression and Thought

$65.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy

  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521039048

$ 65.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This philosophical treatise on the foundations of semantics represents a systematic effort to clarify, deepen, and defend the classical doctrine that words are conventional signs of mental states; principally, thoughts and ideas; and that meaning consists in their expression. This expression theory of meaning is developed by carrying out the Gricean program, explaining the significance of words to have meaning in terms of speaker meaning, and for a speaker to mean something in terms of intention. Grice's own formulations are rejected, and alternatives are developed.

    • Offers a critical assessment of the Gricean program
    • Develops the theory of thought as a fundamental cognitive phenomenon distinct from belief and desire
    • Provides a philosophical theory of language and its use based on the notion that meaning is to be analysed in terms of mental states
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this important book, Davis argues strongly that the traditional view is substantially correct and that it can be developed in ways that avoid standard objections. This work displays impressive erudition and rigorous analysis of central questions in the philosophy of mind and language.... Highly recommended." Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521039048
    • length: 676 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Semantic Acts and Intentions:
    2. Speaker meaning
    3. Expression
    4. Alternative analyses
    5. Communication
    6. Reference
    Part II. Languages and Semantic Acts:
    7. Languages
    8. Basic word meaning
    9. Conventions
    10. Compositional word meaning
    11. Living languages
    Part III. Thoughts and Ideas:
    12. Thought
    13. Sentences, propositions and thoughts
    14. The constituency thesis
    15. Ideas or concepts
    16. The possession of concepts
    17. The acquisition of concepts
    18. The association of ideas
    19. Objects, images and conceptions
    20. The language of thought hypothesis
    Part IV. Ideational Theories of Meaning:
    21. Objections to ideational theories
    22. Priority objections
    23. Incompleteness objections

  • Author

    Wayne A. Davis, Georgetown University, Washington DC

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