Chapter

On Meaning, Meaning, and Meaning<sup>*</sup>

Ruth Garret Millikan

in Language: A Biological Model

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284764
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603167 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199284768.003.0003
 						On Meaning, Meaning, and Meaning*

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To understand how language works, one must first look to the cooperative functions that various language forms perform, understanding these on a biological model as what these forms accomplish that keeps them in circulation. Next, one should look at language mechanics, at how language forms perform their functions, and especially to the conditions in the world that are necessary to support their specific functions. These are, in part, truth conditions, which are determined by a kind of “meaning” called “semantic mapping functions” — “functions,” this time, in the mathematical sense. Last, the psychological mechanisms that are involved in implementing the functions of various language forms must be described. A proper understanding of these mechanisms eliminates the need to introduce anything akin to intensions or Fregean senses in the understanding of linguistic meaning.

Keywords: meaning; reference; semantics; pragmatics; illocutionary force; Fregean sense; identity judgments; existence judgments; intensional contexts; speech acts

Chapter.  8839 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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