Is linguistic meaning to be accounted for independently of the states of mind of language users, or can it only be explained in terms of them? If the latter, what account of the mental states in question avoids circularity? In this book Brian Loar offers a subtle and comprehensive theory which both preserves the natural priority of the mind in explanations of meaning, and gives an independent characterisation of its features. It is a commonplace that in making decisions agents often have to juggle competing values, and that no available choice Will maximise satisfaction of all of them. Prevailing accounts of rational decision making in such contexts asume that, once all factors are taken into consideration, the decision maker will reach a single ranking of his values, resolving the conflict between them.
Introduction; 1. Propositional attitudes in the theory of mind; 2. Explicating attitude-ascriptions; 3. Functional theories; 4. How to interpret ascriptions of beliefs and desires; 5. Beliefs about particulars; 6. Objectively determinate beliefs and our knowledge of them; 7. Intentionality without intensions; 8. Why truth?; 9. Language and meaning; 10. Public language semantics; Index.
Is linguistic meaning to be accounted for independently of the states of mind of language users, or can it only be explained in terms of them? In this book Brian Loar offers a subtle and comprehensive theory that both preserves the natural priority of the mind in explanations of meaning.
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