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Dale Jacquette

Collective Intentionality in the Theory of Meaning


ISBN: 978-3-88405-529-8

Price: €12.50 (including 19 % tax)


This essay develops a collective intentionality approach to the theory of meaning, recognizing linguistic skills and exercise of abilities as an essentially social phenomenon. Essential concepts and principles are formalized in a descriptive semantics for a general characterization of the meanings of names and sentences. An extensive criticism is offered of John R. Searle’s nonreductive ‘We intend’ or collective intentionality thesis. The argument on which Searle relies is refuted as failing to establish that a reductive concept of collective thesis must engender an infinite regress of beliefs about the intentions of others. The several advantages of a collective-to-individual reduction of collective intentionality are advanced as reasons for preferring a reductive to nonreductive account of collective intentionality in a comparative representation of their respective most fundamental logical structures, while rejecting further purely syntactical disquotational reductions of the fundamental meaning relations in both individual and collective intendings, as Searle would presumably approve.




 





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