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Metasemantics and imaginability

Ruthrof, H. (2013) Metasemantics and imaginability. Language Sciences, 35 . pp. 20-31.

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In support of an analogical conception of natural language, linguistic meaning occurs, the paper claims, when we associate Vorstellung, understood as mental, iconic variation of perception, with linguistic expressions under the control of the 'linguistic linkage compulsion'. In this sense meaning is argued to be indirectly public aboutness. To cater for the mental, phylogenic, and social aspects of language I emphasise three necessary theoretical perspectives: psychologism, ethology, and conventionalism. The second part of the paper applies the proposed metasemantic principles to sketching a resolution of Locke's paradox of private meanings in the face of public discourse, a repair of Husserl's ideality of meaning; the re-insertion of Vorstellung in Wittgenstein's meaning as 'use'; and a review of the Davidsonian conflation of imaginability and truth.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2012 Elsevier Ltd
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