Checking Searle's Background

Sosa, David (1999) Checking Searle's Background. Teorema, XVIII (1). pp. 109-123.


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The literal meaning of an ordinary sentence is often consistent with unacceptable interpretations. Searle's hypothesis of the Background enables us to understand how that literal meaning might nevertheless yield a determinate condition of satisfaction. But Searle intends the Background to be a condition on representation in general, not just on the representational significance of linguistic items. This paper argues, using distinctions Searle himself has drawn, that it is in the transmission of intentionality from the mental to the linguistic that a gap between meaning and condition of satisfaction opens up. A sharper distinction between mental and linguistic intentionality, thus, checks the role of the Background.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Background capacities; intentionality
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Teorema. Revista internacional de filosofia > Volume XVIII (1999)
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Epistemologie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Naturphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 29 May 2006
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:51

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