Conditions on Understanding Language

Ernest Lepore

in Meaning, Mind, and Matter

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580781
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595264 | DOI:
Conditions on Understanding Language

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What if anything do we know that enables us to understand a language? Fodor and Schiffer have argued that understanding a language involves nothing more than having a (perceptual) capacity to hook up the natural language expressions with symbols of (the language of) thought; and that this skill requires no meta‐linguistic (semantic) knowledge. The aim of this chapter is to refute both these claims.

Keywords: Fodor; Schiffer; natural language; symbols

Chapter.  7818 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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