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Understanding PeopleNormativity and Rationalizing Explanation$
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Alan Millar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254408.001.0001

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Meaning and Intentional Content

Meaning and Intentional Content

(p.159) CHAPTER 6 Meaning and Intentional Content
Understanding People

Alan Millar (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the idea that there is a normative dimension to all propositional attitudes in virtue of the fact that these attitudes have conceptual content. The starting point is Kripke’s critique of dispositionalism about semantic meaning. It is argued that meaning something by a term is a matter of participating in a practice of using that term in a manner that respects its conditions of correct, in the sense of true, application. The relevant normative commitment is to using the word in this way and is to be explained in terms of general considerations about practices. In the course of discussion, much is made of a distinction between correctness as true application and correctness as keeping faith with the meaning. It is argued that possessing a concept incurs a normative commitment of a sort that is structurally analogous to that implicated by semantic meaning.

Keywords:   correctness, true application, keeping faith with meaning, word-use, propositional attitudes, conceptual content

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