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Review of Scott Soames, What is meaning? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010).

By Dr. Sergeiy Sandler


Scot Soames’ new book, What is Meaning, is an important book, both in the issues it raises and in its shortcomings. It is the first serious discussion of meaning (not “semantic content” or some other term of art designed to sidestep the real issue) by a leading analytic philosopher of language in a long while, and its findings lead towards a more realistic understanding of meaning and language. n his account, Soames uses the notion of cognitive event to account for the unity of the proposition, but, crucially, his choice of predication as the centerpiece of this account undermines it. Furthermore, Soames appears oblivious of the existence of empirical and theoretical studies examining the connection between actual cognitive events and linguistic structure - studies that rather point to the irrelevance of the philosophical approach he is adopting

Topics: Semantics, Philosophy of Language
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2012
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