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Wandering SignificanceAn Essay on Conceptual Behaviour$
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Mark Wilson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269259.001.0001

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THE PRACTICAL GO OF IT

THE PRACTICAL GO OF IT

Chapter:
(p.223) 5 THE PRACTICAL GO OF IT
Source:
Wandering Significance
Author(s):

Mark Wilson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199269259.003.0005

Many ‘pre-pragmatist’ opponents of the classical picture begin with a suspicion that such doctrines place unrealistic demands upon human capacity: that when we grasp a collection of vocabulary, its syntax rarely becomes as firmly attached to the world as the classical story promises. In overreaction, thinkers such as W. V. Quine frequently become sceptical that the world independently possesses attributes to which language might potentially attach at all. Such doubts are impossibly radical, but a pre-pragmatist can plausibly argue on engineering grounds that it is not easy to set classical-style semantic attachments in place. Confronted with these practical impediments, over time language often develops into more complicated forms of semantic arrangement than classical thinking anticipates.

Keywords:   pre-pragmatism, strands of practical advantage, linguistic engineering, intensionality, attributes, flight from intension, projection

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