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Husserl, Dummett, and the Linguistic Turn

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Abstract:

Michael Dummett famously holds that the “philosophy of thought” must proceed via the philosophy of language, since that is the only way to preserve the objectivity of thoughts while avoiding commitments to “mythological,” Platonic entities. Central to Dummett's case is his thesis that all thought contents are linguistically expressible. In this paper, I will (a) argue that making the linguistic turn is neither necessary nor sufficient to avoid the problems of psychologism, (b) discuss Wayne Martin's argument that not all thought-contents are linguistically communicable, and (c) present another, stronger argument, derived from Husserl's early account of fulfillment, that establishes the same conclusion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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