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The Unity of Linguistic Meaning$
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John Collins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694846.001.0001

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The priority thesis: judgement over naming

The priority thesis: judgement over naming

(p.51) 3 The priority thesis: judgement over naming
The Unity of Linguistic Meaning

John Collins

Oxford University Press

In the previous chapter, two unity problems were distinguished: an interpretive and a combinatorial problem. The former problem was deemed to be explanatorily secondary to the latter one, which is our focus. Three desiderata on an adequate solution to the combinatorial problem were offered. I think the two problems have often been run together, but they have also been isolated, albeit not under the present labels. The question the combinatorial problem raises is why interpretive unities are available in the first place. It refuses, in short, to take the thoughts available to us as given. The present chapter and the next will survey a range of potential solutions to the problem and criticisms in each case will be presented based upon our three desiderata. It seems to me that Russell, Frege and Wittgenstein have all offered great insight into the problem without resolving the quandary. Chapter 5 will offer a solution. The solution will be more persuasive once all other options have been eliminated. That is the task of this chapter and the next.

Keywords:   Michael Dummett, judgement, minimal pairs, reference, decomposition

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