|Elm/Beech example, philosophy: thought experiment of H. Putnam (Putnam, H. Reason, truth and history, Cambridge, 2008). The speaker cannot distinguish elms and beeches, but he knows that both are different trees. What is the status of his knowledge? Putnam draws the conclusion that meanings are not in the head. See also reference, knowledge, causal theory, meaning, thought experiments.|
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I can know that "elm" and "beech" are separate classes of deciduous trees, but I can have no idea how to differentiate them.
Often nothing in the consciousness of the speaker determines the extension of his terms. E.g. I can know that "Feynman" and "Gell-Man" are names of important physicists, but do not know by which the one differs from the other.
My language skills will not be endangered by my ignorance.
Weisen der Welterzeugung Frankfurt 1984
Tatsache Fiktion Voraussage Frankfurt 1988
Sprachen der Kunst Frankfurt 1997
N. Goodman/K. Elgin
Revisionen Frankfurt 1989