Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism

Overview

Beginning with a general theory of function applied to body organs, behaviors,
customs, and both inner and outer representations, Ruth Millikan argues that the intentionality of language can be described without reference to speaker intentions and that an understanding of the intentionality of thought can and should be divorced from the problem of understanding consciousness....

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Overview

Beginning with a general theory of function applied to body organs, behaviors,
customs, and both inner and outer representations, Ruth Millikan argues that the intentionality of language can be described without reference to speaker intentions and that an understanding of the intentionality of thought can and should be divorced from the problem of understanding consciousness. The results support a realist theory of truth and of universals, and open the way for a nonfoundationalist and nonholistic approach to epistemology.

A
Bradford Book

The MIT Press

"An extraordinary book. It is both epic in scope and profound in depth... ."---Jay F. Rosenberg, Nous

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"An exciting book. It is a sustained effort at developing a naturalistic view of intentionality. Millikan's writing is clear, forceful, and illuminating." Hector Neri-Casteneda,Indiana University
Hector Neri-Casteneda

An exciting book. It is a sustained effort at developing a naturalistic view of intentionality. Millikan's writing is clear, forceful, and illuminating.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262631150
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/16/1987
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 367
  • Sales rank: 1,248,862
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Garrett Millikan is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of
Connecticut. She is the author of Language, Thought, and Other Biological
Categories
(MIT Press, 1984) and White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for
Alice
(MIT Press, 1995) and On Clear and Confused Ideas.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Daniel C. Dennett
Acknowledgments
Introduction
I The Theory of Proper Functions with Some Applications Prior to Introducing Intentionality
1 Direct Proper Functions
2 Adapted Devices and Adapted and Derived Proper Functions
3 Indicatives, Imperatives, and Gricean Intentions
4 Language Device Types; Dictionary Senses; Stabilizing Proper Function as the First Aspect of Meaning
II A General Theory of Signs
5 Intentionality as a Natural Phenomenon
6 Intentional Icons: Fregean Sense, Reference, and Real Value Introduced
7 Kinds of Signs
8 Hubots, Rumans, and Others: Case Studies of Intensions, Senses, and "Stimulus Meanings"
9 Intension: The Third Aspect of Meaning
III A Short Lexicon for Philosophers
10 Simple Indexicals
11 Descriptions
12 "Is" and "Exists": Represented Referents and Protoreferents
13 Quotation Marks, "Says That" and "Believes That"
14 "Not" and "All": Two More Kinds of Indefinite Description
IV Theory of Identity
15 The Act of Identifying
16 Notes on the Identity of Substances and Properties
17 Notes on the Identity of Enduring Objects
18 Epistemology of Identity: The Law of Noncontradiction
19 Epistemology of Identity: Concepts, Law, and Intrusive Information
Epilogue
Notes
Index of Technical Terms
Analytical Index
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