Happy Holidays! Over 120,000 eBooks at just 19.99 each— Pick a favorite today

Philosophical Studies Series

How to Think about Meaning

Authors: Saka, Paul

  • Develops a cognitivist/mentalist theory of meaning
  • Examines the nature of hate speech
  • Explores the nature of ambiguity
  • Proposes a new solution to semantic paradoxes
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook $209.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5857-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5856-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7460-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

According to the dominant theory of meaning, truth-conditional semantics, to explain the meaning of a statement is to specify the conditions necessary and sufficient for its truth. Classical truth-conditional semantics is coming under increasing attack, however, from contextualists and inferentialists, who agree that meaning is located in the mind.

How to Think about Meaning develops an even more radical mentalist semantics, which it does by shifting the object of semantic inquiry. Whereas for classical semantics the object of analysis is an abstract sentence or utterance such as "Grass is green," for attitudinal semantics the object of inquiry is a propositional attitude such as "Speaker so-and-so thinks grass is green." Explicit relativization to some speaker S allows for semantic theory then to make contact with psychology, sociology, historical linguistics, and other empirical disciplines.

The attitudinal approach is motivated both by theoretical considerations and by its practical success in dealing with recalcitrant phenomena in the theory of meaning. These include: presuppositions as found in hate speech, and more generally the connotative force of evaluative language; the problem of how to represent ambiguity; quotation and the use-mention distinction; and the liar paradox, which appears to contradict truth-based semantics.

"Technically exact, highly readable, and illustrated with valuable examples, ...here is a book to counterbalance decades of misdirected anti-psychologistic semantic dogma." Prof. Dale Jacquette, Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A.

Reviews


“A remarkable new approach to semantic theory. With a refreshing emphasis on meaning as the expression of attitude, Paul Saka not only strikes a blow against vacuous truth-conditional theories, but demonstrates the power of his cognitive analysis in theory and in a surprising and satisfying selection of important linguistic applications. Technically exact, highly readable, and illustrated with valuable examples from many contexts of language use, here is a book to counterbalance decades of misdirected anti-psychologistic semantic dogma.” Prof. Dale Jacquette, Department of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University, USA

How to Think about Meaning provides a novel mentalist approach to linguistic meaning, one that is informed by current research methods in cognitive science and the growing influence of cognitive linguistics. It also draws attention to, and provides an analysis of, important aspects of language (such as connotation) that have been neglected by contemporary philosophers of language. There is really nothing unoriginal about this work.” Prof. Marga Reimer, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, USA


Table of contents (3 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $209.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5857-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5856-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7460-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Loading...

Recommended for you

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
How to Think about Meaning
Authors
Series Title
Philosophical Studies Series
Series Volume
109
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-5857-8
DOI
10.1007/1-4020-5857-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-5856-1
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-7460-7
Series ISSN
0921-8599
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 285
Topics