MFC Passages 09-9-14 d

MFC Passages 09-9-14 d - Brandom "Meaning as Functional...

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Brandom “Meaning as Functional Classification” Passages 1. For even if, as I do, one finds a reference to ‘inner conceptual episodes’ which are only in an analogical sense ‘verbal’ to be an indispensable feature of what might be called fine- grained psychological explanations, it is nevertheless possible to construe this ‘fine-grained’ framework as a theoretical enrichment of a ‘coarse grained’ behavioristic explanatory framework which, from the former point of view, simply equates thinking with states which are ‘verbal’—if I may so put it—in the literal sense. To be interesting for our purposes this ‘coarse grained’ framework would have to be methodologically autonomous in the sense that it would contain categories of sense and reference, meaning and truth which could be fully explicated without any reference to non-verbal ‘inner conceptual episodes’. Thus, in this behavioristic framework linguistic episodes would be characterized directly in semantical terms, i.e. without a reference to the ‘inner conceptual episodes’ which, from the standpoint of the enriched framework, are involved in a finer grained explanation of their occurrence. [I- 82] 2. [T]he enterprise in which I am engaged is the construction of a ‘level l theory of meaning’ in Harman’s sense of this phrase. I shall refer to what he calls ‘thinking in words’ as thinking-out-loud. On the assumption that such a proto-psychological framework can be isolated, I shall present it in the guise of a claim that thinking at the characteristically human level simply is what is described by this framework. I shall refer to this claim as Verbal Behaviorism. [I-83] 3. According to VB, thinking ‘that- p ,’ where this means ‘having the thought occur to one that-p,’ has as its primary sense saying p ’; and a secondary sense in which it stands for a short term proximate propensity to say ‘ p ’. [I-83] 4. The VB I am constructing sees the relevant inhibiting factor which blocks a saying that-p as that of not being in a thinking-out-loud frame of mind. [I-83] 5. Notice that I have been treating that-clauses as quoted expressions…[A]s the verbal behaviorist sees it, if thinking is verbal activity, then ascribing a certain thought to a person by the use of ‘indirect discourse’ is not simply analogous to, but identical with, telling what someone has said (or was disposed to say). [I-83] [BB: Need to make allowances not only for foreign languages, as WS goes on to acknowledge, but also for indexicals.] 6. Mental acts in the Cartesian or Aristotelian sense are, of course, not actions , but rather actualities , and consequently the thinkings-out-loud which I am offering as a model for classical mental acts construed as elements in a finer grained explanatory framework, must not be thought of as linguistic actions . [I-84] ad7913e2864ba8ccabd1ff6f7e3797be04239ad4 1 2/15/12
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Brandom 7. Now if all linguistic episodes were actions, then all conceptually meaningful non-actions
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course PHIL 2245 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Pittsburgh.

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MFC Passages 09-9-14 d - Brandom "Meaning as Functional...

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