A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning by Ray JackendoffA User's Guide to Thought and Meaning by Ray Jackendoff

A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning

byRay Jackendoff

Paperback | April 29, 2015

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A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning presents a profound and arresting integration of the faculties of the mind - of how we think, speak, and see the world.Ray Jackendoff starts out by looking at languages and what the meanings of words and sentences actually do. He shows that meanings are more adaptive and complicated than they're commonly given credit for, and he is led to some basic questions: How do we perceive and act in the world? How do we talkabout it? And how can the collection of neurons in the brain give rise to conscious experience? As it turns out, the organization of language, thought, and perception does not look much like the way we experience things, and only a small part of what the brain does is conscious. Jackendoff concludesthat thought and meaning must be almost completely unconscious. What we experience as rational conscious thought - which we prize as setting us apart from the animals - in fact rides on a foundation of unconscious intuition. Rationality amounts to intuition enhanced by language.Written with an informality that belies both the originality of its insights and the radical nature of its conclusions, A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning is the author's most important book since the groundbreaking Foundations of Language in 2002.
Ray Jackendoff is Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. His books include Semantics and Cognition (MIT 1983), Consciousness and the Computational Mind (MIT 1987), The Architecture of the Language Faculty (MIT 1997), Foundations of Language (OUP 2002), Simpler Syntax...
Title:A User's Guide to Thought and MeaningFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.59 inPublished:April 29, 2015Publisher:OUPLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198736452

ISBN - 13:9780198736455

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Table of Contents

1. Why do we need a User's Guide to thought and meaning?Part One: Language, Words, and Meaning2. What's a language?3. Perspectives on English4. Perspectives on sunsets, tigers, and puddles5. What's a word?6. What counts as the same word?7. Some uses of mean and meaning8. "Objective" and "subjective" meaning9. What do meanings have to be able to do?10. Meanings can't be visual images11. Word meanings aren't cut and dried12. Not all the meaning is in the words13. Meanings, concepts, and thoughts14. Does your language determine your thought?Part Two: Consciousness and Perception15. What's it like to be thinking?16. Some phenomena that test the Unconscious Meaning Hypothesis17. Conscious and unconscious18. What does "What is consciousness?" mean?19. Three cognitive correlates of conscious thought20. Some prestigious theories of consciousness21. What's it like to see things?22. Two components of thought and meaning23. See something as a fork24. Other modalities of spatial perception25. How do we see the world as "out there"?26. Other "feels" in experiencePart Three: Reference, Truth, and Thought27. How do we use language to talk about the world?28. Mismatching reference in conversation29. What kinds of things can we refer to? (Cognitive metaphysics, Lesson 1)30. Referential files for pictures and thoughts31. What's truth?32. Problems for an ordinary perspective on truth33. What's it like to judge a sentence true?34. Noticing something's wrong35. What's it like to be thinking rationally?36. How much rational thinking do we actually do?37. How rational thinking helps38. Chamber music39. Rational thinking as a craft40. Some pitfalls of apparently rational thinkingPart IV: A Larger View41. Some speculation on science and the arts42. Ordinary and cognitive perspectives on morality43. Ordinary and cognitive perspectives on religion44. Learning to live with multiple perspectivesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Clear and concise. The pace is perfect: very short chapters making for a very enjoyable read ... As an introduction to a cognitivist perspective on linguistic meaning and thought, this is an extremely helpful book in both tone and content." --Tadeusz Zawidzki, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews