Hinzen, Wolfram

An Essay on Names and Truth

Hinzen, Wolfram - An Essay on Names and Truth, ebook


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This book lays new foundations for the study of reference and truth. It explores truth in the light of Noam Chomsky's Minimalist Program and argues that truth is a function of the human mind. It sets out an internalist reconstruction of meaning and explores its outcomes in language and thought. - ;This pioneering book lays new foundations for the study of reference and truth. It seeks to explain the origins and characteristics of human ways of relating to the world by means of an understanding of the inherent structures of the mind. Wolfram Hinzen explores truth in the light of Noam Chomsky's Minimalist Program. Truth, he argues, is a function of the human mind and, in particular, likely presupposes the structure of the human clause.

Professor Hinzen begins by setting out the essentials of the Minimalist Program and by considering the explanatory role played by the interfaces of the linguistic system with other cognitive systems. He then sets out an internalist reconstruction of meaning. He argues that meaning stems from concepts, originating not from reference but from intentional relations built up in human acts of language in which such concepts figure. How we refer, he suggests, is a function of the concepts we possess,
rather than the reverse in which reference to the world gives us the concepts to realize it. He concludes with extended accounts of declarative sentences and names, the two aspects of language which seem most inimical to his approach.

The book makes important and radical contributions to theory and debate in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science. The author frames his argument in a way that will be readily comprehensible to scholars and advanced students in all three disciplines. - ;The book marks a signal step in the evolution of generative grammar and the unification of mind and brain. It should command the attention of linguists, philosophers, psychologists and the field of cognitive science. - Tom Roeper, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;In this finely crafted essay Hinzen argues that quintessentially semantic notions like Truth and Reference are in fact deeply grounded in natural language syntax. This is nothing less than the beginning of a Copernican revolution in philosophy of language and mind. This should be on everyone's required reading list. - Cedric Boeckx, Harvard University;In Minimal Mind Design, Wolfram Hinzen laid out the philosophical foundations of a minimalist naturalization of meaning. Most philosophers would have been satisfied with that important contribution; Hinzen took it as a mere first step. In this sequel, he embarks on a far-reaching program, aiming at rethinking the old chestnuts of concepts, names and truth within a radically Chomskyan paradigm. I simply do not know of any other work of this scope and profoundness that is as
well-versed on current syntactic theorizing. - Juan Uriagereka, Professor of Linguistics, The University of Maryland at College Park

Keywords: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics LAN009000

Oxford University Press
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