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Meanings Are Syntactically Individuated and Found in the Head

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Abstract:

Expanding on some of Chomsky’s recently expressed views of meaning in a way that is consistent with his long-held rationalist conception of mind, I show how syntax, broadly conceived, could individuate meanings and provide a science of meanings inside the head. Interpretation becomes a pragmatic matter, although a rationalist account of mind shows how internal meanings guide interpretation and, more generally, language use. In this view of meanings, interpretation, and mind, semantics as usually understood disappears.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00076

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, McGill University

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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