The Nature of Meaningfulness [Book Review]

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):484-488 (2002)
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Very briefly, Shope intends his analysis of representation to include causal powers and non-deviant causal chains. He devotes chapters of the book to these topics—topics not usually found in a book on meaning or representation. Chapter 3 argues that powers or abilities cannot be analyzed in terms of conditionals. Chapter 4 argues that we need not analyze powers to understand them well enough for our purposes. He wants his analysis to be able to say there can be a meaning to one’s acquiring or persisting in a propositional attitude—this could say something psychosocial about someone, for instance. Finally, he applies his account to such things as the meaning of “hurrah”, Freudian themes, the meaning of life, meaning as intending, and meaning as it applies to art.



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Fred Adams
University of Delaware

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