Meaning, Expression and Thought
This philosophical treatise on the foundations of semantics is a systematic effort to clarify, deepen and defend the classical doctrine that words are conventional signs of mental states, principally thoughts and ideas, and that meaning consists in their expression. This expression theory of meaning is developed by carrying out the Gricean programme, explaining what it is for words to have meaning in terms of speaker meaning, and what it is for a speaker to mean something in terms of intention. But Grice's own formulations are rejected and alternatives developed. The foundations of the expression theory are explored at length, and the author develops the theory of thought as a fundamental cognitive phenomenon distinct from belief and desire, argues for the thesis that thoughts have parts, and identifies ideas or concepts with parts of thoughts. This book will appeal to students and professionals interested in the philosophy of language.