Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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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.
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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.
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.
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I 142
Language/Evolution/Millikan: Language did not arise evolutionary, because that would have taken much longer.
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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.
For example, there must be self-identical facts which can be mapped by different sentences.

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


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-27