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Consciousness and MeaningSelected Essays$
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Brian Loar, Katalin Balog, and Stephanie Beardman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673353.001.0001

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Two Theories of Meaning

Two Theories of Meaning

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 Two Theories of Meaning
Source:
Consciousness and Meaning
Author(s):

Brian Loar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673353.003.0003

The two theories are Donald Davidson’s theory that a Tarski-style truth theory for a language can serve as a meaning theory for that language and the Gricean theory of intention-based semantics. Loar argues against Davidson’s theory, and uses the problems that defeat it to motivate the Gricean theory. He takes the outstanding problem for that theory to be the provision in Gricean terms of an account of sentence meaning in terms of the conditions that must obtain in order for a language to be the language of a given population, and the chapter culminates in an account of those conditions, one that doesn’t need to appeal to the Chomskian idea of an internally represented generative grammar.

Keywords:   Donald Davidson, Tarski-style truth theory, meaning theory for a language, Paul Grice, intention-based semantics, generative grammar, Noam Chomsky

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