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Experience and the World's Own LanguageA Critique of John McDowell's Empiricism$
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Richard Gaskin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199287252.001.0001

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The world's own language

The world's own language

(p.199) VI The world's own language
Experience and the World's Own Language

Richard Gaskin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It is not enough to merely locate objects and concepts (properties) at the level of reference. If these are not to be merely two different kinds of thing-in-itself, we also need to locate propositional combinations of objects and concepts at that level. It is argued that semantical and metaphysical considerations oblige us to take this step beyond Frege. We should recognize the existence of both true and false propositions at the level of reference, and identify the world with the level of reference, so understood. That yields a good sense in which the world ‘speaks its own language’, an idea McDowell mentions only to reject. The resulting linguistic idealism, provides the only safe context in which a genuinely minimal empiricism can thrive.

Keywords:   objects, concepts, reference, propositions, Frege, world’s language, linguistic idealism, minimal empiricism, semantics, metaphysics

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