Get access

Meaning and Mindreading

Authors

  • J. ROBERT THOMPSON

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Philosophy and Religion, Mississippi State University
    • Address for correspondence: Department of Philosophy and Religion, PO Box JS, Mississippi State, MS, 39762, USA. Email: jrt260@msstate.edu

    Search for more papers by this author

  • The author would like to thank Philip Robbins, Jesse Prinz, and Steven Gross (as well as the editors and referees of Mind & Language), for valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Abstract

In this article, I defend Neo-Gricean accounts of language and communication from an objection about linguistic development. According to this objection, children are incapable of understanding the minds of others in the way that Neo-Gricean accounts require until long after they learn the meanings of words, are able to produce meaningful utterances, and understand the meaningful utterances of others. In answering this challenge, I outline exactly what sorts of psychological states are required by Neo-Gricean accounts and conclude that there is sufficient evidence that these types of psychological states are present in and capable of being understood by the children in question.

Ancillary