Title page for ETD etd-3334201599622881

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Richardson, Jason
URN etd-3334201599622881
Title Meaning, Functions, and the Promise of Indicator Semantics
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Klagge, James C.
Pitt, Joseph C.
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray Committee Chair
  • dretske
  • meaning
  • functions
  • indication
  • audio localization
Date of Defense 1996-07-19
Availability unrestricted

In this thesis, I first present Fred

Dretske's theory of mental represent-

ations, which purports to show how a

physical thing could have (non-derived)

meaning. In order to illustrate the

applicability of the theory to an actual

physical system, I discuss the theory in

relation to two theories of audio

localization (i.e., the capacity to locate

the source of sounds in one's

environment). Having clarified the

theory, I examine two charges laid

against it. Lynne Rudder Baker charges

the theory with circularity. Her charge is

refuted by appealing to the concept of a

"standby function." Stephen Stich

charges the theory with vagueness. His

charge is refuted by appealing to a

general analysis of functions. I conclude

that a careful use and analysis of the

previously unanalyzed term "function"

makes possible the refutation of these

two charges.

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