Chapter

Seeing Through Language

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019823757X.003.0009
Seeing Through Language

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This essay argues that while there is an important sense in which we see the world through language, common ways of understanding this metaphor are false. It criticises mentalese, the thesis that there is an inborn ‘language of thought’, and discusses the conditions necessary for creatures to acquire concepts, thoughts and language. The birth of meaning occurs through interpersonal communication about a shared, public world, and depends on the fact that human creatures have shared needs and interests.

Keywords: language; metaphor; meaning; mentalese; communication

Chapter.  6192 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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