Chapter Two. Understanding, Representation, Information

  1. Frank Jackson

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444325362.ch2

Language, Names, and Information

Language, Names, and Information

How to Cite

Jackson, F. (2010) Understanding, Representation, Information, in Language, Names, and Information, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444325362.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 6 AUG 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405161589

Online ISBN: 9781444325362



  • understanding, representation and information;
  • value of understanding words and plans;
  • value of being able to read plans - knowing how things would have to be to be in accord with plans;
  • agreement and shared understandings;
  • complex web of interactions and dependences - holding a linguistic or conceptual practice together;
  • Davidson's challenge to representation - picture of language as tied to correspondence theory of truth;
  • getting reliable information from the random, or from the patternless - an inability;
  • grasping patterned connection - between words and sentences;
  • voyages through logical space’ - information coming across sentences that we understand and accept;
  • sentences, giving information - irreducibly about parts of worlds and need for centered worlds


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Some stage setting on the value of understanding words and plans

  • Agreement and shared understandings

  • Davidson's challenge to representation

  • Are we confusing semantics and pragmatics?

  • Why we need possible worlds

  • Voyages through logical space

  • How to finesse the issue in analytic ontology

  • The need for centered worlds

  • Getting information from sentences with centered content

  • Saying things a new now that centering is in the story

  • Where to now?