Philosophical Review 107 (1):123 (1998)

Heather Gert
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Michael Devitt
CUNY Graduate Center
In Coming to Our Senses, Michael Devitt insists that if we are going to argue about what meanings are, we should know why we care. He reasonably observes that unless we agree about this, we are likely to be arguing past one another. The meanings Devitt discusses are token meanings of individual thoughts and utterances. He holds that these meanings are properties, and that we have two purposes for attributing them to thoughts and utterances: to predict and explain a subject’s behavior, and to learn about the world. If a property attributed to a thought by means of a t-clause serves either of these purposes then that property plays a semantic role. A meaning is any property that plays a semantic role.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.2307/2998321
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