Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information by Ruth Garrett MillikanBeyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information by Ruth Garrett Millikan

Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information

byRuth Garrett Millikan

Hardcover | October 6, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 224 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a highly original account of cognition - of how we get to grips with the world in thought. The question at the heart of her book is Kant's "How is knowledge possible?", but answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. The starting assumption is that we areevolved creatures that use cognition as a guide in dealing with the natural world, and that the natural world is roughly as natural science has tried to describe it. Very unlike Kant, then, we must begin with ontology, with a rough understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, onlylater developing theories about the nature of cognition within that world and how it manages to reflect the rest of nature. And in trying to get from ontology to cognition we must traverse another non-Kantian domain: questions about the transmission of information both through natural signs andthrough purposeful signs including, especially, language. Millikan makes a number of innovations. Central to the book is her introduction of the ideas of unitrackers and unicepts, whose job is to recognize the same again as manifested through the jargon of experience. She offers a direct reference theory for common nouns and other extensional terms; anaturalist sketch of conceptual development; a theory of natural information and of language function that shows how properly functioning language carries natural information; a novel description of the semantics/pragmatics distinction; a discussion of perception as translation from naturalinformational signs; new descriptions of indexicals, demonstratives and intensional contexts; and a new analysis of the reference of incomplete descriptions.
Ruth Garrett Millikan is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut. She was raised in the college town of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and educated at Oberlin College and Yale University. She is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Winner of the 2017 Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy. She...
Title:Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural InformationFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pagesPublished:October 6, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198717199

ISBN - 13:9780198717195

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Part I0. Introduction to Part I1. A Clumpy World2. Direct Reference for Extensional Terms3. Introducing Unitrackers and Unicepts4. Functions of Same-Tracking5. How Unicepts Get Their Referents6. Misrepresentation, Redundancy, Equivocity, Emptiness (and Swampman)7. Some ImplicationsPart II8. Introduction to Part II9. Indexicals and Self-Signs10. An Anatomy of Signs11. Infosigns and Natural Information12. Intentional Signs13. Linguistic Signs14. Perception, Especially Perception through Language15. Markers of Identity and Grounded Infosigns16. Out-side Pragmatics: Descriptions, Quantifiers, DirectivesGlossary