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Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy$
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Robert Hanna

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272044.001.0001

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Kant and the Semantic Problem

Kant and the Semantic Problem

(p.14) 1. Kant and the Semantic Problem
Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy

Robert Hanna

Oxford University Press

To a large extent, Immanuel Kant's theoretical philosophy is merely the result of fusing two important pre-existing tendencies in recent Kant scholarship. First, it has been quite convincingly shown that Kant can be read as a logico-semantic theorist. (For Kant, ‘logic’ includes not only the classical or Aristotelian/Scholastic theory of deductive entailment, sentential connectives, and monadic quantification, but also much of what we would now regard as semantics — the theory of concepts and their constituents, the theory of judgements or propositions, the theory of truth, and so on.) Secondly, it has been equally convincingly shown that Kant can be read as a philosophical psychologist. Kant's theory of objective mental representation is at once a theory of consciousness, a theory of intentionality, a theory of mental content, a theory of meaning, and a theory of cognition. This last point bears repeating: language is fully included within the explanatory scope of Kant's general theory of objective mental representation — but not all objective mental representation is linguistic. Hence, Kant's cognitive semantics comprehends non-linguistic and linguistic meaning alike.

Keywords:   Immanuel Kant, logic, semantics, objective mental representation, consciousness, mental content, meaning, cognition

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