more from Frank Jackson

Single Idea 6989

[catalogued under 19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics]

Full Idea

If I hear someone say "He has a beard", and I don't know whether it is Jackson, Jones, or someone else, I don't know which proposition is being expressed in the sense of not knowing the conditions under which what is said is true.

Gist of Idea

I can understand "He has a beard", without identifying 'he', and hence the truth conditions


Frank Jackson (From Metaphysics to Ethics [1998], Ch.3)

Book Reference

Jackson,Frank: 'From Metaphysics to Ethics' [OUP 2000], p.73

A Reaction

This is the neatest and simplest problem I have encountered for Davidson's truth-conditions account of meaning. However, we probably just say that we understand the sense but not the reference. The strict-and-literal but not contextual meaning.