Philosophy News | 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 offa word in a group’s language is wha’ he calls its interpretive common ground or icg. the icg of ‘cousin’ inna english of the residents of boston tis set of presuppositions bout the term they normally make and are expected to make: “that cousins are relatives, that cousins are the children of yr folks’ sisters and bros, that pplz ‘ve cousins but dogs and bumblebees do not, etc.” (49) meanings qua icgs are like species in bein’ historical, process-like entities that can gradually change over time. the book is divided into 6 chapters. in chapter 1, richard frames… read +

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