Single Idea 4999

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification]

Full Idea

Behaviourists regard the use of language as just a special kind of behaviour.

Gist of Idea

For behaviourists language is just a special kind of behaviour


Robert Kirk (Mind and Body [2003], 7.9)

Book Reference

Kirk,Robert: 'Mind and Body' [Acumen 2003], p.155

A Reaction

This is not an intuitively obvious view of language. We behave, and then we talk about behaviour. Performative utterances (like promising) have an obvious behavioural aspect, as do violent threats, but not highly theoretical language (such as maths).