About this topic
Summary Competent speakers of a language are ordinarily said to know the language (or to speak, or have, the language). Should the idea that they know the language be taken seriously? And if it should, what account should be given of the form of knowledge they would then be taken to possess? Is it a form of propositional knowledge? Or is it form of practical knowledge, or some other form of knowledge? Moreover, if we think that speakers really do have knowledge of their language, we might wonder what precisely they know, and how they come to know it. 
Key works Chomsky 1975 Includes discussion of various philosophical proposals about the nature of knowledge of language. Chomsky 1986 Development of Chomsky's views about the nature, and content, of knowledge of language. Schiffer 1993 An account of how a minimal form of knowledge of language might figure in an account of the actual-language relation. Devitt 2006 Extended argument that knowledge of language figures less centrally in theoretical linguistics than others, including Chomsky, have thought. Dummett 1993 Develops an account of knowledge of language as a specific form of practical knowledge. Campbell 1982 Argues that understanding a language is a matter of possessing a form of propositional knowledge. Soames 1984 Develops a novel account of the relation between facts about speaker psychology and facts about language. Pettit 2002 Argues that understanding a language is not a matter of possession of propositional knowledge. Longworth 2008 Argues that understanding a language is not a matter of possession of propositional knowledge or a form of acquaintance.
Introductions Hornsby & Longworth 2005
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  1. (Non-)Conceptual Representation of Meaning in Utterance Comprehension.Anders Nes - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Many views of utterance comprehension agree that understanding an utterance involves knowing, believing, perceiving, or, anyhow, mentally representing the utterance to mean such-and-such. They include cognitivist as well as many perceptualist views; I give them the generic label ‘representationalist’. Representationalist views have been criticized for placing an undue metasemantic demand on utterance comprehension, viz. that speakers be able to represent meaning as meaning. Critics have adverted to young speakers, say about the age of three, who do comprehend many utterances but (...)
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  2. Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence: X, XX, XXX.Ilexa Yardley - 2017 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  3. Sulla nozione di conoscenza innata in N. Chomsky.Marco Salucci - 1987 - Annali Del Dipartimento di Filosofia di Firenze 3:153-189.
    In tis paper I examine the notion of innate knowledge maintained by N. Chomsky.
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  4. Элементарная основа языка.Andrej Poleev - 2020 - Enzymes 18.
    Русский язык прошёл долгий путь становления, в ходе которого совершенствовался его алфавит, его понятийное и смысловое содержание, его культура речи. В 20-м веке русский язык стал и продолжает оставаться самым развитым языком современности, и в этом качестве он является своеобразным эталоном для оценки других языков.
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  5. An Ontological Puzzle About the Speech of Black Folk.Stephen Lester Thompson - 1993 - Found Object 2:21-29.
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  6. The Grammar of Civilization: Crummell and Douglass on Doing Things with Words.Stephen Lester Thompson - 1999 - In Bill Lawson & Frank Kirkland (eds.), Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader. Malden, MA, USA: pp. 173-203.
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  7. The Manifestation Challenge: The Debate Between McDowell and Wright.Ali Hossein Khani & Saeedeh Shahmir - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 12 (24): 287-306.
    In this paper, we will discuss what is called the “Manifestation Challenge” to semantic realism, which was originally developed by Michael Dummett and has been further refined by Crispin Wright. According to this challenge, semantic realism has to meet the requirement that knowledge of meaning must be publically manifested in linguistic behaviour. In this regard, we will introduce and evaluate John McDowell’s response to this anti-realistic challenge, which was put forward to show that the challenge cannot undermine realism. According to (...)
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  8. Kripkenstein Meets the Chinese Room: Looking for the Place of Meaning From a Natural Point of View.Michael Kober - 1998 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):317-332.
    The discussion between Searle and the Churchlands over whether or not symbolmanipulating computers generate semantics will be confronted both with the rulesceptical considerations of Kripke/wittgenstein and with Wittgenstein's privatelanguage argument in order to show that the discussion focuses on the wrong place: meaning does not emerge in the brain. That a symbol means something should rather be conceived as a social fact, depending on a mutual imputation of linguistic competence of the participants of a linguistic practice to one another. The (...)
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  9. Virtue Semantics: Towards an Agent-Based Theory of Linguistic Understanding.Cheng-Hung Tsai - 2006 - Dissertation, National Taiwan University
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  10. Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: Waarom filosofen gek zijn.Nicole des Bouvrie - 2018 - Eindhoven: Damon.
    Zijn filosofen gek? Zo ja, waarom? En ligt dat dan aan de filosoof, aan de filosofie of aan de diagnostiek? Dat zijn de vragen die in 'Diagnose van de moderne filosoof' centraal staan. Nicole des Bouvrie neemt aan de hand van het diagnostische handboek van psychiaters en psychologen (de DSM-V) de situatie van de hedendaagse denker onder de loep. Autisme, psychoses, anorexia en andere aandoeningen passeren de revue, om aan de hand van een grondige anamnese van hedendaagse denkbeelden uit de (...)
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  11. Syntax Meets Semantics During Brain Logical Computations.Arturo Tozzi, James F. Peters, Andrew And Alexander Fingelkurts & Leonid Perlovsky - 2018 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 140:133-141.
    The discrepancy between syntax and semantics is a painstaking issue that hinders a better comprehension of the underlying neuronal processes in the human brain. In order to tackle the issue, we at first describe a striking correlation between Wittgenstein's Tractatus, that assesses the syntactic relationships between language and world, and Perlovsky's joint language-cognitive computational model, that assesses the semantic relationships between emotions and “knowledge instinct”. Once established a correlation between a purely logical approach to the language and computable psychological activities, (...)
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  12. Book Review:Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use Noam Chomsky; Language and Problems of Knowledge: The Managua Lectures Noam Chomsky. Stabler Jr - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (3):533-536.
  13. Must We Measure What We Mean?Nat Hansen - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):785-815.
    This paper excavates a debate concerning the claims of ordinary language philosophers that took place during the middle of the last century. The debate centers on the status of statements about ‘what we say’. On one side of the debate, critics of ordinary language philosophy argued that statements about ‘what we say’ should be evaluated as empirical observations about how people do in fact speak, on a par with claims made in the language sciences. By that standard, ordinary language philosophers (...)
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  14. Why Truth-Conditional Semantics in Generative Linguistics is Still the Better Bet.Toby Napoletano - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):673-692.
    In his “Meaning and Formal Semantics in Generative Grammar” (Erkenntnis 2015, 61–87), Stephen Schiffer argues that truth-conditional semantics is a poor fit with generative linguistics. In particular, he thinks that it fails to explain speakers’ abilities to understand the sentences of their language. In its place, he recommends his “Best Bet Theory”—a theory which aims to directly explain speakers’ abilities to mean things by their utterances and know what others mean by their utterances. I argue that Schiffer does not provide (...)
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  15. Linguistic Knowledge and Unconscious Computations.Luigi Rizzi - 2016 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 7 (3):338-349.
    : The open-ended character of natural languages calls for the hypothesis that humans are endowed with a recursive procedure generating sentences which are hierarchically organized. Structural relations such as c-command, expressed on hierarchical sentential representations, determine all sorts of formal and interpretive properties of sentences. The relevant computational principles are well beyond the reach of conscious introspection, so that studying such properties requires the formulation of precise formal hypotheses, and empirically testing them. This article illustrates all these aspects of linguistic (...)
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  16. Harry M. Bracken, "Mind and Language. Essays on Descartes and Chomsky". [REVIEW]Kathleen M. Squadrito - 1986 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 24 (4):559.
  17. Double Review: Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals by Neil Smith and Chomsky: Language, Mind, and Politics by James McGilvray.Fred D'Agostino - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (3):335-344.
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  18. The Ideas of Chomsky.Tony Tyley, Noam Chomsky, Janet Hoenig, Bryan Magee & Inc B. B. C. Education & Training - 1997 - Films for the Humanities & Sciences Distributed Under License From Bbc Worldwide Americas.
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  19. Understanding Language Acquisition: The Framework of Learning Christina E. Erneling Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993, Xiii + 256 Pp., $59.50; Paper $19.95. [REVIEW]Benjamin R. Tilghman - 1997 - Dialogue 36 (2):425-427.
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  20. Linguistic Intuition and Reductionism: Comments on Katz's Paper.Esa Saarinen - 1982 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 23:296-304.
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  21. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use. Stabler - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (3):533-536.
  22. Knowledge of Language" by David Cooper. [REVIEW]Robert Geer - 1981 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 11 (4):518.
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  23. Language Understanding is Grounded in Experiential Simulations: A Response to Weiskopf.Raymond W. Gibbs & Marcus Perlman - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):305-308.
    Several disciplines within the cognitive sciences have advanced the idea that people comprehend the actions of others, including the linguistic meanings they communicate, through embodied simulations where they imaginatively recreate the actions they observe or hear about. This claim has important consequences for theories of mind and meaning, such as that people’s use and interpretation of language emerges as a kind of bodily activity that is an essential part of ordinary cognition. Daniel Weiskopf presents several arguments against the idea that (...)
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  24. Embodied Cognition and Linguistic Comprehension.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):294-304.
    Traditionally, the language faculty was supposed to be a device that maps linguistic inputs to semantic or conceptual representations. These representations themselves were supposed to be distinct from the representations manipulated by the hearer’s perceptual and motor systems. Recently this view of language has been challenged by advocates of embodied cognition. Drawing on empirical studies of linguistic comprehension, they have proposed that the language faculty reuses the very representations and processes deployed in perceiving and acting. I review some of the (...)
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  25. Consciousness and the Acquisition of Language. [REVIEW]G. A. - 1975 - Review of Metaphysics 28 (4):760-761.
    The gulf separating Anglo-American and continental philosophers is due in large part to the different problems with which they are concerned. Where their interests cross, the differences in approach make mutual appreciation difficult. A pleasant exception to this is Consciousness and the Acquisition of Language. The book is an edition of lectures transcribed by students and then approved for publication by Merleau-Ponty; for this reason, it lacks the developed, consequential form of a finished work. First delivered in 1949-50, the lectures (...)
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  26. The Language of Value. [REVIEW]R. J. - 1957 - Review of Metaphysics 11 (1):170-170.
    This rewarding volume consists of twelve essays, comments on each essay, and the contributor's response to the comments. The essays range from an examination of concrete value experience to the explication of axiological concepts and the elaboration of formal schemes. Richard Brandt sharply criticizes attitude theories; Charles Stevenson replies. Charles Morris describes an empirical study of the signification of appraisive signs, involving the correlation of somatotype and the preference for certain types of painting. And Jan McGreal contributes a sparkling dialogue (...)
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  27. Linguistic Competence and Moral Development: Some Parallels.John R. Mckie - 1994 - Philosophical Inquiry 16 (1/2):20-31.
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  28. Language Competence and Tradition-Constituted Rationality.Alicia Juarrero Roque - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (3):611-617.
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  29. Understanding Rules.Laurence E. Nemirow - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):28-43.
  30. Language and Mind.Noam Chomsky - 1968 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is the third edition of Chomsky's outstanding collection of essays on language and mind, first published in 2006. The first six chapters, originally published in the 1960s, made a groundbreaking contribution to linguistic theory. This edition complements them with an additional chapter and a new preface, bringing Chomsky's influential approach into the twenty-first century. Chapters 1-6 present Chomsky's early work on the nature and acquisition of language as a genetically endowed, biological system, through the rules and principles of which (...)
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  31. Why We Still Need Knowledge of Language.Barry C. Smith - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):431-456.
    In his latest book, Michael Devitt rejects Chomsky’s mentalist conception of linguistics. The case against Chomsky is based on two principal claims. First, that we can separate the study of linguistic competence from the study of its outputs: only the latter belongs to linguistic inquiry. Second, Chomsky’s account of a speaker’s competence as consisiting in the mental representation of rules of a grammar for his language is mistaken. I shall argue, first, that Devitt fails to make a case for separating (...)
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  32. Is There Such a Thing as Pragmatics?--Review of Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics 2nd Ed (2009).Michael Starks - 2016 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018. Michael Starks. pp. 381-399.
    Clearly neither I nor anyone will ever read any substantial part of this massive tome so I will discuss the one article that interests me most and which I think provides the framework necessary for the understanding of all the rest. I refer to the one on Ludwig Wittgenstein (W). Even were I to try to discuss others, we would not get past the first page as all the issues here arise immediately in any discussion of behavior. The differentiation of (...)
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  33. Social Constructivism of Language and Meaning.Chen Bo - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):87-113.
    To systematically answer two questions “how does language work?” and “where does linguistic meaning come from?” this paper argues for SocialConstructivism of Language and Meaning which consists of six theses: the primary function of language is communication rather than representation, so language is essentially a social phenomenon. Linguistic meaning originates in the causal interaction of humans with the world, and in the social interaction of people with people. Linguistic meaning consists in the correlation of language to the world established by (...)
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  34. On Nature and Language.Adriana Belletti & Luigi Rizzi (eds.) - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    In On Nature and Language Noam Chomsky develops his thinking on the relation between language, mind and brain, integrating current research in linguistics into the burgeoning field of neuroscience. This 2002 volume begins with a lucid introduction by the editors Adriana Belletti and Luigi Rizzi. This is followed by some of Chomsky's writings on these themes, together with a penetrating interview in which Chomsky provides the clearest and most elegant introduction to current theory available. It should make his Minimalist Program (...)
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  35. The Reality of Language: On the Davidson-Dummett Debate.Kirk Ludwig & Ernest Lepore - 2007 - In Randall Auxier & Lewis Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Michael Dummett: The Library of Living Philosophers. pp. 185-214.
    This chapter identifies the central issue between Michael Dummett and Donald Davidson on the role of convention in language and argues they are not as far apart in the end as they take themselves to be.
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  36. Chomsky’s Descartes: Remarks on the Importance of Descartes’s Thought for Chomsky’s Research on Language and Cognition.Sławomir Sztajer - 2015 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 63 (1):85-100.
    Sedno artykułu stanowi postulat podjęcia badań zmierzających do rekonstrukcji dynamiki i immanentnej logiki rozwoju filozofii kartezjańskiej poprzez historyczno-teoretyczną analizę jednej z niezbadanych linii recepcji kartezjanizmu, wiodącej przez filozofię brytyjskich myślicieli minorum gentium: Arthura Colliera, Johna Norrisa, Richarda Burthogge’a etc. Przeanalizowanie poszczególnych stadiów ewolucji myśli postkartezjańskiej w ramach jednej tradycji intelektualno-kulturowej ma pozwolić na teoretyczno-historyczne ugruntowanie systemu Berkeleya, w nurcie szeroko rozumianej myśli kartezjańskiej, dostarczając tym samym przesłanek do ogólnych wniosków na temat logiki rozwoju systemów filozoficznych inspirowanych myślą Kartezjusza.
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  37. Language: Functionalism Versus Authenticity.Peter McGuire - 2006 - Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 6 (2):1-13.
    This paper sets out to demonstrate that a phenomenological reflection on language highlights the possibilities of authenticity in communication, and as such provides a very necessary complement to the dominant linguistic perspectives: the syntactic and grammatical perspective, Saussurean linguistics, and systemic functional linguistics. While the syntactic and grammatical perspective, which predominates in the educational context, presents language as an institutionalized, authoritarian and self-contained system, Saussurean linguistics provides a view of language as a complex, self-contained, technical system, as such reflecting the (...)
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  38. Language in the World of Reality.V. L. Ibragimova - 2015 - Liberal Arts in Russiaроссийский Гуманитарный Журналrossijskij Gumanitarnyj Žurnalrossijskij Gumanitaryj Zhurnalrossiiskii Gumanitarnyi Zhurnal 4 (2):145.
    Language depth and complexity are comparable with the world reflected in its reality. The conceptual categories are formed by its means, allowing conceptualize ideas about the world, on the basis of which cognitive experience of man further develops. In all periods of its existence, the language is characterized by dynamism and synergy, the ability of self-development, improvement of socio-functional nature, taking care of maintaining its communicative suitability in the best condition. As a unique object of reality, as the most brilliant (...)
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  39. Seeing Through Language.Donald Davidson - 1997 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 42:15-27.
    We see the world through language; but how should we understand this metaphor? Is language a medium that simply reproduces for the mind, or accurately records, what is out there? Or is it so dense there is no telling what the world is really like? Perhaps language is somewhere in between, a translucent material, so that the world bears the tint and focus of the particular language we speak.
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  40. Linguistic and Metalinguistic Categories in Second Language Learning.Karen Roehr - 2008 - Cognitive Linguistics 19 (1).
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  41. Languages in Knowledge Societies.Javier Echeverría & J. Francisco Álvarez - 2008 - Arbor 184 (734).
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  42. Linguistic Relativity in the New Testament.Lascelles G. B. James - manuscript
    This is a three part discussion on linguistic relativity and the New Testament which provides some perspectives towards understanding the inter-relatedness of society, culture, and language as they would have impacted the writers of the New Testament. The ideas discussed should provide useful information for further research into the application of modern linguistics to New Testament hermeneutics, systematic theology, and biblical exegesis. The implications of linguistic relativity theory applied to this genre of literature are of extreme importance in light of (...)
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  43. Meaning and Evidence: A Reply to Lewis.John Hawthorne - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (2):206--211.
  44. Communicating the Same Information to a Human and to a Machine: Is There a Difference in Principle?Vincent C. Müller - 2002 - In Konstantinos Boudouris & Takis Poulakos (eds.), Philosophy of communication: Proceedings of the 13th international conference on Greek philosophy (IAGP 13). Ionia. pp. 168-176.
    We try to show that there is no difference in principle between communicating a piece of information to a human and to a machine. The argumentation depends on the following theses: Communicating is transfer of information; information has propositional form; propositional form can be modelled as categorization; categorisation can be modelled in a machine; a suitably equipped machine can grasp propositional content designed for human communication. What I suggest is that the discussion should focus on the truth and precise meaning (...)
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  45. Hellenism and Antisemitism in the New Testament.Lascelles G. B. James James - manuscript
    The New Testament Writings and the Septuagint were possibly compiled in Hellenism’s greatest period of influence. It is reasonable to say that the writings were influenced by Hellenism because they were written in the language of Hellenism. This study examines how the hegemony of Hellenism, the worldviews of Hellenists, and the current of anti-Semitism impacted the New Testament Writers and influenced why they wrote how they wrote.
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  46. The Language of Thought and Natural Language Understanding.Jonathan Knowles - 1998 - Analysis 58 (4):264-272.
    Stephen Laurence and Eric Margolis have recently argued that certain kinds of regress arguments against the language of thought (LOT) hypothesis as an account of how we understand natural languages have been answered incorrectly or inadequately by supporters of LOT ('Regress arguments against the language of thought', Analysis, 57 (1), 60-6, J 97). They argue further that this does not undermine the LOT hypothesis, since the main sources of support for LOT are (or might be) independent of it providing an (...)
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  47. The Language of Science and the Science of Language: Chomsky’s Cartesianism.David Golumbia - 2015 - Diacritics 43 (1):38-62.
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  48. Having Linguistic Rules and Knowing Linguistic Facts.Peter Ludlow - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    'Knowledge' doesn't correctly describe our relation to linguistic rules. It is too thick a notion. On the other hand, 'cognize', without further elaboration, is too thin a notion, which is to say that it is too thin to play a role in a competence theory. One advantage of the term 'knowledge'-and presumably Chomsky's original motivation for using it-is that knowledge would play the right kind of role in a competence theory: Our competence would consist in a body of knowledge which (...)
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  49. Language Understanding and Knowledge of Meaning.Mitchell Green - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    In recent years the view that understanding a language requires knowing what its words and expressions mean has come under attack. One line of attack attempts to show that while knowledge can be undermined by Gettier-style counterexamples, language understanding cannot be. I consider this line of attack, particularly in the work of Pettit and Longworth, and show it to be unpersuasive. I stress, however, that maintaining a link between language understanding and knowledge does not itself vindicate a cognitivist view of (...)
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  50. Linguistic Intuitions Revisited.Michael Devitt - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):833-865.
    Why are linguistic intuitions good evidence for a grammar? In 'Intuitions in Linguistics' ([2006a]) and Ignorance of Language ([2006b]), I looked critically at some Chomskian answers and proposed another one. In this article, I respond to Fitzgerald's 'Linguistic Intuitions' ([2010]), a sweeping critique of my position, and to Culbertson and Gross' 'Are Linguists Better Subjects?' ([2009]), a criticism of one consequence of the position. In rejecting these criticisms, I emphasize that the issue over linguistic intuitions concerns only metalinguistic ones. And (...)
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