John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning and Mind
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This is a volume of original essays on key aspects of John Searle's philosophy of language. It examines Searle's work in relation to current issues of central significance, including internalism versus externalism about mental and linguistic content, truth-conditional versus non-truth-conditional conceptions of content, the relative priorities of thought and language in the explanation of intentionality, the status of the distinction between force and sense in the theory of meaning, the issue of meaning scepticism in relation to rule-following, and the proper characterization of 'what is said' in relation to the semantics/pragmatics distinction. Written by a distinguished team of contemporary philosophers, and prefaced by an illuminating essay by Searle, the volume aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of Searle's work in philosophy of language, and to suggest innovative approaches to fundamental questions in that area.
the utterance are internalist. And it looks as though we have a way to solve the particularity objection. Supposing there is a single yellow station wagon parked in the yard that is just to the right of center of my visual field, ‘‘The yellow station wagon in front and to the right of me’’ is satisfied by just the right object. I want to suggest that while, for this example, the conceptualization of the object’s location is a satisfactory way of getting the right intentional object into the
account of visual intentional content is inadequate. I wish to close our discussion by presenting some empirical evidence for thinking that visual reference to seen objects is direct, nonconceptual, and hence nonsatisfactional. The empirical research is largely due to Pylyshyn, his collaborators, and those inspired by his research. I will inevitably present (rather, squeeze in) only the smallest dash of this rich body of empirical work on vision and visual perception, and its theoretical
implies that the negative existential is meaningless rather than true. The Intentionalist observes that even though Santa Claus does not exist, the idea of Santa Claus 105 Wayne A. Davis does exist and is expressed by the name. ‘‘Santa Claus’’ has a sense because it expresses this Intentional content, allowing the negative existential to be meaningful and true. According to the causal theory, a name ‘‘N’’ acquires a referent when a person, place, or thing is ‘‘baptized.’’ It retains this
‘‘existence thirty seconds ago with all of our fossils, memories, libraries, and photographs intact’’ (SRI: 255). Searle recognizes that Russell originally formulated this skepticism in an epistemic guise, but he believes that an ontological rendering is straightforward. The ontological form of Russell’s skepticism can be couched in this form: ‘‘what fact about the present makes it the case that present objects existed in the past?’’ (SRI: 255). 145 Martin Kusch Finally, Searle offers a
is not merely negative, however. He puts forward his own way of answering the meaning skeptic. As far as skepticism1 is concerned, Searle’s anti-skepticism is inspired by G. E. Moore who famously held that we can answer skepticism by relying on our common-sense knowledge of ordinary objects (1925; 1939; cf. Malcolm 1942). Skepticism about the external world is false since here is one hand, and here is another. Skepticism about time is false since I started writing this paragraph two minutes ago.