Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Language, philosophy: language is a set of phonetic or written coded forms fixed at a time for the exchange of information or distinctions within a community whose members are able to recognize and interpret these forms as signs or symbols. In a wider sense, language is also a sign system, which can be processed by machines. See also communication, language rules, meaning, meaning change, information, signs, symbols, words, sentences, syntax, semantics, grammar, pragmatics, translation, interpretation, radical interpretation, indeterminacy.
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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Ruth Millikan on Language - Dictionary of Arguments

I 1
Language/Wittgenstein/Philosophical Investigations/Millikan: at the beginning of the Philosophical Investigations (PI), Wittgenstein compares words with tools.
Word/Language/Millikan:
1. Tools have functions, but tools can also be used for other purposes.
2. In the case of physical tools, the shape is usually directly tailored to it; in the case of words, the form is known to be random.
3. Although the functions of tools are extremely variable, there is a uniform way how it can be described:
A) describe the purpose
B) describe how this purpose is achieved.
I 31
Language/Reaction/Millikan: we cannot expect listeners to produce the same reactions to the same linguistic actions under the same conditions, no matter what utterances of speakers are typically produced.
Cf. >Anomalous monism
, >Communication, >Language behavior.
Language Patterns/Constance/Millikan: Thesis: Linguistic patterns are maintained or propagated because there is a kind of symbiotic partnership between speakers and listeners. Here there is a node point: certain functions correspond to both: to the purposes of the speaker and the listener.
Stabilization/standardization/Millikan: because of these common purposes of speakers and listeners speech patterns tend to stabilize and standardize.
I 142
Language/Evolution/Millikan: Language did not arise evolutionary, because that would have taken much longer.
>Language evolution.
I 239
Language/Identity/Millikan: Language has its power from the fact that it maps the world. If so, identity or selfsameness must be objective and thought-independent.
Cf. >Picture theory.
For example, there must be self-identical facts which can be mapped by different sentences.

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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Millikan I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

Millikan II
Ruth Millikan
"Varieties of Purposive Behavior", in: Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals, R. W. Mitchell, N. S. Thomspon and H. L. Miles (Eds.) Albany 1997, pp. 189-1967
In
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005


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