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Conceptual role semantics : A holistic theory of meaning

par philo.doctes (26/11/2014)

Intervention du 18 décembre de Tomoo Ueda :

Résumé :

What does one mean by asserting something, say, “Paris is the capital of France” ? What is expressed by this assertion ? What we get if we listen to this assertion ?

In this talk, I will argue that holism is a good theoretical candidate to answer these questions. Especially, I will focus on a version of Conceptual Role Semantics (CRS) as a framework of analysis. Since CRS is a holistic theory of meaning, I will briefly introduce the distinction between holistic and non-holistic theories of meaning. Then, three notions of conceptual roles will be introduced. The major distinction between them consists in the answer to the question where the meaning is located : inside or outside of one’s mind. The former narrow content view (defended by, e.g., Brandom) identifies the content of an assertion with the relevant inferential roles of the speaker. Contrastingly, there is another wide content view (defended by, e.g., Block and Harman), according to which the content of an assertion goes beyond the speaker’s mind.

I will argue for the wide content view. By doing so, I will briefly discuss about benefits as well as possible challenges of CRS.

(The speaker regrets that this talk will be held in English due to the limited linguistic competence of the speaker. However, the organizer and the speaker agree on that questions in French will be translated if needed.)