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Meanings as Species

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2021.02.05 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Mark Richard, Meanings as Species, Oxford University Press, 2019, 212pp., $72.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198842811. Reviewed by Indrek Reiland, University of Vienna This book explores the idea that the meanings of words are like biological species. On Mark Richard's view, the meaning of a word in a group's language is what he calls its interpretive common ground or ICG. The ICG of 'cousin' in the English of the residents of Boston is the set of presuppositions about the term they normally make and are expected to make: "that cousins are relatives, that cousins are the children of your folks' sisters and brothers, that people have cousins but dogs and bumblebees do not, etc." (49) Meanings qua ICGs are like species in being historical, process-like entities that can gradually change over time. The book is divided into six chapters. In chapter 1, Richard frames... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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