Internalist Perspectives on Language

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The division between internalist and externalist perspectives has dominated many areas of philosophy over the last few decades. In broadest terms, the issue is how best to individuate or otherwise categorize properties of agents that bear upon them being rational, perceiving, acting creatures. Are the properties internal to the agent, to the exclusion of external factors, or are they essentially involving of properties and things external to the agents? In the philosophy of language, the relevant properties pertain to general linguistic competence, and so we may ask if language itself (appropriately understood) is an internal property of speaker-hearers, or, say, if a word’s meaning is essentially world involving. Only a cursory survey of internalism in the philosophy of language would be possible in the space available; the chapter’s ambition, instead, is to offer something of a rapprochement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of the Philosophy of Language
EditorsPiotr Stalmaszczyk
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781108698283
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021

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