Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 9, pp 2529–2532 | Cite as

Rethinking language, mind, and meaning

  • Scott SoamesEmail author

The book aspires to add a new cognitive dimension to the standard framework for studying linguistic meaning and language use based on systems of intensional semantics deriving from Frege, Tarski, Kripke, Montague, Kaplan, and others. The semantic content of a sentence in such systems is taken to be information that represents the world as being a certain way. These entities, called ‘propositions’, are standardly required to play four roles—as meanings of some sentences, objects of belief, assertion, and other attitudes, contents of some mental states, and as primary bearers of truth conditions. Despite the importance of propositions, we have never had an adequate conception of what they are. Although the dominant approach identifies them with functions from possible world-states (or other truth-supporting circumstances) to truth values, I argue that these entities can’t play any of the roles assigned to them. My aim is to replace them with entities that can.

Doing so requires...


Truth Condition Linguistic Meaning Natural Kind Term Propositional Function Identical Proposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Church, A. (1988). A remark concerning quine’s paradox about modality. In N. Salmon & S. Soames (Eds.), Propositions and attitudes (pp. 58–65). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fine, K. (2007). Semantic relationism. Malden, MA: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jackson, F. (1986). What Mary didn’t know. Journal of Philosophy, 83, 191–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kripke, S. (1979). A puzzle about belief. In A. Margalit (Ed.), Meaning and use (pp. 239–283). Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nagel, T. (1974). What’s it like to be a bat? Philosophical Review, 83, 135–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Perry, J. (1977). Frege on demonstratives. Philosophical Review, 86, 474–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Richard, M. (1993). Articulated Terms. Philosophical Perspectives, 7, 207–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Russell, B. (1905). On denoting. Mind, 14, 479–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USC School of PhilosophyLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations