Philosophy Study 3 (11) (2013)

What is the mental realization of our knowledge of the meaning of words? Does the lexical side of our semantic competence depend on the fact that we have dedicated representations of the semantic properties of lexemes or does it arise from world knowledge, encyclopedic information, and non-linguistic categorization? According to meaning eliminativism, lexical concepts have no robust psychological reality and our ability to use the words of a language should not be explained in terms of knowledge of their conventional semantic value, conceived as their array of possible senses. To start, I will briefly explain what meaning eliminativism is and illustrate the key arguments that have been offered in its defense. Then, I will argue that such arguments are not as persuasive as they wish, and I will show that there are convincing theoretical and empirical reasons to maintain that meaning eliminativism is not a plausible claim about the nature of our lexical skills.
Keywords word meaning   meaning eliminativism   modulation   lexical concepts
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DOI 10.17265/2159-5313/2013.11.004
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