Single Idea 5820

[catalogued under 18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content]

Full Idea

Our theory can be summarized as saying that words like 'water' have an unnoticed indexical component: "water" is stuff that bears a certain similarity relation to the water around here.

Clarification

'Indexicals' typically involve pointing as well as speaking

Gist of Idea

'Water' has an unnoticed indexical component, referring to stuff around here

Source

Hilary Putnam (Meaning and Reference [1973], p.160)

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.160


A Reaction

This is the causal theory of reference, which leads to externalism about concepts, which leads to an externalist view of thought, which undermines internal accounts of the mind like functionalism, and leaves little room for scepticismů Etc.