In this monograph Nicholas Georgalis further develops his important work on minimal content, recasting and providing novel solutions to several of the fundamental problems faced by philosophers of language. His theory defends and explicates the importance of ‘thought-tokens’ and minimal content and their many-to-one relation to linguistic meaning, challenging both ‘externalist’ accounts of thought and the solutions to philosophical problems of language they inspire. The concepts of idiolect, use, and statement made are critically discussed, and a classification of kinds of utterances is developed to facilitate the latter. This is an important text for those interested in current theories and debates on philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and their points of intersection.
Table of Contents
1. Minimal Content and Intentionality 2. More on Minimal Content and Related Issues 3. Thinking Differently about Thought and Language 4. The Superiority of the New Theory to Frege’s 5. Kripke’s Puzzle about Belief Solved 6. Use, Idiolect, and Statement Made 7. Speaker’s Referent 8. Speaker’s Referent and the Referential/Attributive Distinction 9. Proper Names 10. Solutions to Classic Problems 11. Securing Determinate Meaning—Part I: Against Kripkenstein 12. Securing Determinate Meaning—Part II: Against Quine
Nicholas Georgalis is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at East Carolina University. His publications include: The Primacy of the Subjective: Foundations for a Unified Theory of Mind and Language, "Representation and the First-Person Perspective" in Synthese, "The Fiction of Phenomenal Intentionality" in Consciousness and Emotion, and "Rethinking Burge’s Thought Experiment" in Synthese.
'Philosophical conversations tend to wear deep ruts into the intellectual landscape, and the continuations of these conversations often have a hard time finding their way out of these ruts. In the case of meaning…there are problematic assumptions to the effect (1) that there is something called "meaning" or "content" that can be attributed univocally to thought-tokens and utterances (much less sentences), and (2) that an analysis of "meaning" should be restricted to facts accessible from a third-person perspective….This book stands out as one of the few things I’ve read to take on these assumptions in a sustained fashion, proposes an alternative that distinguishes the content of thought-tokens from linguistic meaning, and does so in a way that emphasizes the uniquely first-person element of minimal content. This makes it, in my opinion, an important and much-needed book.' -- Steven Horst, Wesleyan University, USA