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2.10 Section summary

After setting aside ‘natural’ meaning as largely irrelevant to language (section 2.3), Grice attempts to define the (non-natural) meaning of utterances in terms of the content of the speakers’ psychological states, and in particular in terms of their intentions in performing those utterances. He reaches a final definition, which we called Grice 3, after two false starts (section 2.6). The meaning of expressions, or of sentences at least, is derivative, defined by him in terms of the mea
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2.7 Expression meaning as defined by Grice

Recall Step Two in the Gricean agenda: to define the meaning of expressions in terms of the meaning of individual utterances. Carrying out this strategy successfully would lend strong support to the thought that it is the mental states of speakers, rather than the meaning of expressions, that are the ultimate source of utterances’ meaning.


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2.6 Which intentions?

Grice makes three attempts to answer this last question. The second builds on the first; the third, which he proposes to adopt, builds on the second. In the next three activities, you will be asked to extract these attempts in turn, and appreciate the alleged shortcomings of the first two.

Activity 4


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2.3 Grice on natural and non-natural meaning

Ironically, the word ‘meaning’ has many different meanings. There are four occurrences of ‘mean’ (or ‘meaning’ or ‘meant’, etc.), italicised, in the following paragraph:

Roberto's instructor had been mean to put it so bluntly, but she was probably correct that his short legs meant he would never be a great dancer. He turned into the narrow alleyway, meaning to take a shortcut ho
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1.5 Some useful terminology and a convention

It will be useful to end this section by establishing a simple convention and introducing some terminology.

The convention has already been at work in this chapter, but has yet to be made explicit. It is a convention for marking the difference between using a word and mentioning it. Italy has a capital city, and the English language contains a word for that city, but the word and the city are distinct entities. When we are talking about the word rather than what the word i
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1.1 Introduction

One of the most impressive but puzzling capacities we have is the ability to represent the world around us, both in talking about it among ourselves and in thinking about it as individuals. When someone utters the sentence, ‘The German economy is bouncing back’, for example, they are able to convey to their audience something about the German economy. Their utterance may be correct or it may be incorrect, but either way it is making a claim about how things are, and in this loose but intu
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Introduction

This unit introduces key questions about language and thought, such as how can language, which is public and accessible, be used to convey thoughts, which seem hidden from view.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Thought and experience: themes in the philosophy of mind (AA308).


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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Sean Crawford

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reprodu
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References

Bloom, H. (1997) Omens of the Millenium, Riverhead Books.
Crane, T. (2001) The Elements of Mind, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Damasio, A. (1994) Descartes's Error, New York, Grosset/Putman.
Dennett, D. (1996) Kinds of Minds, New York, Basic Books.
Descartes,
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Further reading

General introductions to the philosophy of mind tend to be ahistorical and vary greatly in accessibility and coverage. E.J. Lowe covers virtually the whole range of topics in his An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (2000). For less coverage but more detail see Jaegwon Kim's slightly more advanced but excellent Philosophy of Mind (1996). Tim Crane's The Elements of Mind (2001) is another very good but more advanced introduction to current issues and contains one of t
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5 Dispositions versus occurrences

Another important distinction to keep in mind is that between what philosophers call dispositions and what they call occurrences. A disposition is a tendency or propensity to manifest or exhibit something in certain circumstances. A wine glass, for example, has the dispositional property of brittleness: it will shatter into pieces when struck with enough force. But it need not ever actually shatter for it to possess the disposition of brittleness (it may be melted down into some
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References

Cheney, P. (2004) ‘Introduction: Marlowe in the Twenty-First Century’, in Cheney, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–23.
Healy, T. (2004) ‘Doctor Faustus’, in Cheney, P. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, pp. 174–92.
Ho
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this section you should be able to:

  • read closely – analyse a passage from the play;

  • examine genre – what kind of play is Doctor Faustus?

  • consider themes – what are the main themes or issues explored in the play?

  • read historically – what are some of the connections between Doctor Faustus and the historical period in which it was written?

  • read biographically – what, if any, ins
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Introduction

This unit is on Christopher Marlowe's famous play Doctor Faustus. It considers the play in relation to Marlowe's own reputation as a rule-breaker and outsider and asks whether the play criticises or seeks to arouse audience sympathy for its protagonist, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of power and pleasure. Is this pioneering drama a medieval morality play or a tragedy?

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University courseAuthor(s): The Open University

5.1 Introduction

When people did seek help for their ailments, most sought some form of outpatient care. For the upper and middle classes, during much of the nineteenth century, this meant calling in a general practitioner. The poorest could apply for help at the outpatient department of a charitable hospital or dispensary. Another source of help was to apply for assistance from local government – in some countries the local authorities employed doctors to care for the poor. In Britain, medical help was ava
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4 Domestic care

Despite their best efforts, everyone fell ill at some point in their lives. Although historians of medicine write a great deal about how the sick were cared for by doctors and in hospitals, in the past (as nowadays) minor complaints were diagnosed and treated at home, almost entirely without the help of medical professionals, using special diets and home-made or bought-in remedies. As with preserving health, poor families had relatively few resources for treatment. They might seek advice from
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1 Access to healthcare, 1880–1930

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have often been described as a period of progress, when the poorer classes gained access to a whole range of medical services previously reserved for the wealthy. In the past, this opening up of care was largely attributed to the state. Across Europe, central and local governments created health insurance schemes and new welfare services to provide the poor with access to care, from general practitioners (GPs) to outpatient and hospital care,
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit, you should be able to do the following:

  • describe the wide range of methods of promoting health, preventing disease and providing care that were available to patients of different social groups and classes;

  • be aware of the inequalities of services – in terms of both quality of care and access to different services – open to different social groups and classes;

  • assess the significance of the roles of central and local gov
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Introduction

This unit examines the roles of Scots who contributed to the comprehensive transformation of medicine in the nineteenth century. It begins by observing how laboratory practices led to improved techniques of medical diagnosis. This is followed by assessing how Scots contributed to the emerging collective identity of medical practitioners, as well as the improvements in licensing that led to reform of the medical professions. Many new developments in medical education also enabled women to qual
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12 Glossary

Millenialism (or Millenarianism): the belief and practices, religious and/or political, which seek a comprehensive, salvationary solution for social, political, economic and personal issues. Although originally pre-Christian, the term became identified with the myth of Christ's return after a thousand years. Millenialism, which appealed to some Dissenting sects and other non-religious groups in Britain and the US, played a part in Owen's thinking after 1816. From time to time he announ
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