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ABSTRACT. Contemporary philosophy of language and semantics rests on an unjustified and largely unacknowledged Platonism. This Platonism misdirects inquiry in unfruitful directions, seeking what meaning “really is”, and what terms “really mean”. Arguing against the sorts of hypotheses put forward by Kripke and Putnam as well as the theory of two dimensional semantics, I claim that if meaning is to be construed in any philosophically interesting way, it must be thought of in strictly internalist terms: meaning is “all in the head”, or else it is a colloquial term with no precise meaning whatsoever. Construed internalistically, however, meaning is no less mysterious an aspect of consciousness than the oft-cited redness of red. Squeamishness about facing up to this mystery can only hamper attempts to get to the heart of the matter, and find out what semantics is really all about. (pp. 248–283)

Keywords: language, meaning, semantics, philosophy, Platonism, intension

 

JOHN GREGG
Independent Scholar
http://home.comcast.net/~johnrgregg/

 
 
 

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