Jennifer Hornsby

  • Language and Thought by John Pollock
    Princeton, 297 pp, £17.50, September 1982, ISBN 0 691 07269 8

Language and thought are related in at least this way: language is a means for the expression of one’s thoughts and a vehicle for their communication to others. A speaker uses the words ‘The sky is blue’ (say), he thinks that the sky is blue, intends to say that the sky is blue, and he has expressed his thought; an audience hears the words, and if he understands them and fulfils the speaker’s intention by realising that the speaker said that the sky is blue, there has been communication. This description gives us an idea of what it is for an overt act of speaking and the states of mind of speaker and hearer to have some shared content: the speaker says, and the speaker thinks, and the audience grasps that the sky is blue.

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