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ABSTRACT. How is it, the paper asks, that on hearing the word sound of “intriguing” we cannot at the very same time entertain the concepts of “green” or “democracy”? I approach this question with the help of Wittgenstein’s concept of Abrichtung and the discussion of normativity as rule-following. Instead of truth-conditions, assertability-conditions, justification-conditions, and correctness-conditions, the paper proposes imaginability conditions as foundational for linguistic meaning. Instead of Platonic, intensional, externalist, and neural accounts of meaning, the paper argues that meaning in both high-speed habitual and interpretively problematic contexts can be viewed as indirectly public association of the sounds of linguistic expressions with mental iconic schematisations. The paper concludes by recommending an intersubjective mentalism within which we can argue the notion of normativity as an automated rather than rule-guided form of Abrichtung. This allows for a general concept of meaning as defined as part of a semantics of imaginability, eschewing meaning ideality on the one hand and semantic externalism, on the other. pp. 33–54

Keywords: Abrichtung; normativity; meaning blindness; imaginability conditions; habitual use; meaning as indirectly public

HORST RUTHROF
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Murdoch University

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