|Conceptual role: semantics of the conceptual role - is about representations in connection with functions of thinking instead of functions of language use. - Locus classicus Ned Block conceptual role semantics, CRS. See also compositionality, truth functional semantics, inferential semantics, inferentialism.|
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Def "Wide Conceptual Role"/Harman/Field: (Harman 1982): includes causal connections with the environment. It may be part of the conceptual role of "There's a rabbit" that this is typically triggered by rabbits being around. - Problem: this is also true then for e.g. "phlogiston is leaking from the cylinder." This could typically be caused by oxygen entering into the cylinder. - Field: this shows that this does not introduce any representational properties (reference, truth conditions).
Conceptual Role/"Not"/Truth Function/Representation/Field: a representational semantics will regard e.g. "not" as a function which reflects the truth on falsehood, and vice versa. - Negation/Conceptual Role/Not/Field: but that is not a fact about the conceptual or functional role of "not". - Conceptual role: is easy to specify here: it is largely given in the inference rules. - But the specification of the conceptual role says nothing about the truth functions. - While there is a sort of supervenience of the representational properties (truth conditions, reference, etc.) on the property of the conceptual role in the logic connections. - But conceptual role and representation cannot be equated.
Conceptual Role/Negation/Fact/Field: the fact by virtue of which "it is not the case that" obeys the truth tables, are facts about its conceptual role.
Conceptual Role/Field: includes the verification conditions, but even more, e.g. rules for probability and conceptual consequences that arise from a belief. - But the conceptual role is not enough: it is internalistic and individualistic. - I.e. it does not refer to the outside world and the language community. - We have no "externalist" and no "social" aspects. Solution/Field: we could make the (hopefully harmless) assumption that a language user believes something in his own language. Or at least internal analogues thereof without ambiguities. And we assume that this belief relation is possible without a presupposed concept of content. - Deflationism: can agree with that. - Also computational role: describes how beliefs, desires, etc. arise in time.
We can say that the conceptual role and the indication relations of the beliefs of other people are relevant to the content of my belief state. - The conceptual role of logic connections is not explained by the truth table. - Solution: Reliability: is higher if "or" has the role that corresponds to the truth table. Conceptual Role/Logical Operators/Connections: the conceptual role semantics (CRS) can here assume facts or the absence of facts, deflationism cannot.
Realism, Mathematics and Modality Oxford New York 1989
Truth and the Absence of Fact Oxford New York 2001
Science without numbers Princeton New Jersey 1980