For helpful comments and discussion, my thanks to: Cedric Boeckx, Susan Dwyer, Valentine Hacquard, Norbert Hornstein, Terje Lohndal, Jim McGilvray, Barry Smith, Alexander Williams, and three referees.
Concepts, Meanings and Truth: First Nature, Second Nature and Hard Work
Version of Record online: 25 MAY 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 247–278, June 2010
How to Cite
PIETROSKI, P. M. (2010), Concepts, Meanings and Truth: First Nature, Second Nature and Hard Work. Mind & Language, 25: 247–278. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2010.01389.x
- Issue online: 25 MAY 2010
- Version of Record online: 25 MAY 2010
I argue that linguistic meanings are instructions to build monadic concepts that lie between lexicalizable concepts and truth-evaluable judgments. In acquiring words, humans use concepts of various adicities to introduce concepts that can be fetched and systematically combined via certain conjunctive operations, which require monadic inputs. These concepts do not have Tarskian satisfaction conditions. But they provide bases for refinements and elaborations that can yield truth-evaluable judgments. Constructing mental sentences that are true or false requires cognitive work, not just an exercise of basic linguistic capacities.