Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 57, Issue 4, December 1997

Josefa Toribio
Pages 871-889

Twin Pleas
Probing Content and Compositionality

Dual factor theories of meaning are fatally flawed in at least two ways. First. their very duality constitutes a problem: the two dimensions of meaning (reference and conceptual role) cannot be treated as totally orthogonal without compromising the intuition that much of our linguistic and non linguistic behavior is based on the cognizer’s interaction with the world. Second, Conceptual Role Semantics is not adequate for explaining a crucial feature of linguistic representation, viz., the special kind of compositionality known as concatenative compositionality. Dual factor theories, I conclude, cannot constitute an acceptable philosophical model of content.