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Disclosing the WorldOn the Phenomenology of Language$
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Andrew Inkpin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033916

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033916.001.0001

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Phenomenology and Semantics

Phenomenology and Semantics

(p.253) 9 Phenomenology and Semantics
Disclosing the World

Andrew Inkpin

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on Heidegger’s claim (chapter 2) that propositional content has a prepredicative foundation to assess the relationship between a phenomenological approach to language and standard semantics-based approaches that assume the primacy of propositional content. Having clarified the distinction between these two approaches and various possibilities for interpreting Heidegger’s claim, it argues against a weak foundation claim, according to which prepredicative factors do not affect the philosophical adequacy of the semantic notions of propositional and conceptual content, and instead defends a stronger claim – ‘moderate’ functional foundation – based on differences in the functioning of prepredicative factors and semantic properties. This claim is then situated in the context of a debate between Hubert Dreyfus and John McDowell about the role of concepts in prereflective intelligence, in which it offers a midway between their respective extremes of nonconceptual coping and pervasive conceptualism.

Keywords:   prepredicative foundation, semantics, propositional content, conceptual content, Dreyfus, nonconceptual, coping, McDowell, concepts

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