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By Wayne A. Davis

This philosophical treatise at the foundations of semantics represents a scientific attempt to explain, deepen, and protect the classical doctrine that phrases are traditional symptoms of psychological states; largely, suggestions and ideas; and that that means is composed of their expression. This expression thought of that means is constructed via conducting the Gricean software, explaining the importance of phrases to have that means when it comes to speaker that means, and for a speaker to intend anything by way of purpose. Grice's personal formulations are rejected, and choices are constructed.

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Briefly, ideas are event-types of a certain sort, specifically, thoughts or parts of thoughts. Hence ideas are mental representations. The change in a person who is thinking “All cats are mammals” one second and “All dogs are mammals” the next is a change in the ideas that are occurring to him. Both of the elementary ideas that changed are occurring to someone who is thinking the thought that all cats are dogs. The same goes for the thought that all dogs are cats, which is a differently structured event-type in which the same component ideas stand in a different relation to each other.

The conditions provided need to be “nomically” or “metaphysically” necessary and sufficient. Hence in determining whether a definition is too broad or too narrow, we have to consider hypothetical cases as well as actual ones. The term “analysis” is typically used to mean a definition that is analytically true, that is, a definition in which the definiens and definiendum have the same meaning. “A bachelor is an unmarried man” is the classic analysis in this strict sense. We are using the term “analysis” without the requirement that the definitions be analytic or even logically true, because these properties are not necessary for a definition to tell us what it is for something to be what we are trying to define.

One of my main subthemes is that thought is as fundamental and important a concept of psychology as belief or desire. Accordingly, I will devote considerable attention to distinguishing thought from belief, developing the notion of ideas as thought parts (Part III). I will then rebut objections to ideational theories of meaning (Part IV). 2). Sentences ascribing propositional attitudes generally have transparent as well as opaque interpretations. The opaque interpretation will be our default. While names have seemed especially problematic, they are easily accommodated by the expression theory once we abandon the widely accepted but groundless doctrine that all basic ideas are general or descriptive.

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