, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 199-205

Putnam on what isn’t in the head

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Abstract

In “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’” Putnam argues, among other things, that “‘meanings’ just ain’t in the head”. Putnam’s central arguments in favor of this conclusion are unsound. The arguments in question are the famous intra-world Twin Earth arguments, given on pages 223–227 of the article in question. Each of these arguments relies on a premise to the effect that this or that Twin Earth scenario is both logically possible and one in which certain individuals are in the same overall “psychological [state] in the narrow sense”. The problem is that none of the scenarios are as advertised; that is, none of them are logically possible situations in which the relevant individuals are in the same overall “psychological [state] in the narrow sense”.