Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories

New Foundations for Realism

Beginning with a general theory of function applied to body organs, behaviors, customs, and both inner and outer representations, Ruth Millikan argues that the intentionality of language can be described without reference to speaker intentions and that an understanding of the intentionality of thought can and should be divorced from the problem of understanding consciousness. The results support a realist theory of truth and of universals, and open the way for a nonfoundationalist and nonholistic approach to epistemology.

A Bradford Book

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword

    Daniel C. Dennett

  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction
  4. 1. Direct Proper Functions
  5. 2. Adapted Devices and Adapted and Derived Proper Functions
  6. 3. Indicatives, Imperatives, and Gricean Intentions
  7. 4. Language Device Types; Dictionary Senses; Stabilizing Proper Function as the First Aspect of Meaning
  8. 5. Intentionality as a Natural Phenomenon
  9. 6. Intentional Icons: Fregean Sense, Reference, and Real Value Introduced
  10. 7. Kinds of Signs
  11. 8. Hubots, Rumans, and Others: Case Studies of Intensions, Senses, and "Stimulus Meanings"
  12. 9. Intension: The Third Aspect of Meaning
  13. 10. Simple Indexicals
  14. 11. Descriptions
  15. 12. "Is" and "Exists": Represented Referents and Protoreferents
  16. 13. Quotation Marks, "Says That" and "Believes That"
  17. 14. "Not" and "All": Two More Kinds of Indefinite Description
  18. 15. The Act of Identifying
  19. 16. Notes on the Identity of Substances and Properties
  20. 17. Notes on the Identity of Enduring Objects
  21. 18. Epistemology of Identity: The Law of Noncontradiction
  22. 19. Epistemology of Identity: Concepts, Law, and Intrusive Information
  23. Epilogue
  24. Notes
  25. Index of Technical Terms
  26. Analytical Index