I have three simple aims tonight. My first aim is to introduce a debate that is currently raging in philosophy of language. In particular, I want to contrast three ways of thinking about linguistic interpretation, within linguistics and philosophy of language. Aim two is more important still, given the theme of the conference: I want to highlight several relatively unfamiliar ways in which cognitive science can impact on that debate about linguistic interpretation. In particular, I will present evidence coming from the broader cognitive disciplines, about which of these three views might be best. That’s the stuff about how cognitive science and philosophy intersect. Let me be clear: my hope is not to settle the issue about which of the three views is correct, not least because what follows simplifies issues quite a bit. On the one hand, the views presented are to some extent caricatures, rather than positions that anyone explicitly adopts; on the other hand, the data offered for and against the views are much more complex than what can accurately be described in a single talk, and to a general audience at that. Worse, even if I had all night, the pool of data remains very much incomplete. So, this talk should be taken as (at best) a rough-and-ready introduction to a debate, intended to encourage further empirical work bearing on the philosophical question. I said I had three aims. One is missing. Aim three is rather less serious, but rather more fun: I aim to show you some pictures from my Summer vacation. Why? Because I can!

Additional Metadata
Keywords linguistics, language, cognitive science, philosophy
Publisher Department of Cognitive Science
Series Cognitive Science Technical Report Series
Stainton, Robert. (2001). Linguistic Interpretation and Cognitive Science. Technical Report 2001-04. Cognitive Science Technical Report Series. Department of Cognitive Science.