The enactivist position adopted by Figueiredo and Cuffari is argued to represent a return to a form of behaviorism which denies that mental content is constitutive of the meaning of linguistic signs in favour of the view that language is first and foremost a physical activity based on shared practices of bodily behaviour. This view is shown to be highly problematic, as it is unable to account for the fact that certain mental experiences have characteristic qualia that cannot be reduced to practices of bodily behaviour, nor for the fact that children’s linguistic abilities are radically underdetermined by the verbal behaviour to which they are exposed in the short period in which they develop these abilities. The Wittgensteinian view of ‘meaning as use’ adopted in the paper is subjected to a reductio ad absurdum, as it basically entails that there are no pots, but only uses of pots. The nature of the human mind, as attested to by quantum theory, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem and natural language itself are argued to demonstrate that it cannot be reduced to the purely material level.
Barr, S. M. (1995), “The Atheism of the Gaps”, First Things, November 1995.
Barr, S. M. (2007), “Faith and Quantum Theory’, First Things, March 2007.
Chomsky, N. 1959, “Review of B. F. Skinner, Verbal Behavior”, Language 35, 26-58.
Duffley, P. J. (2019), “What’s on your Mind is not on your Brain - hopefully”, Odisea 20, 65-73.
Graham, G. (1998), Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction, 2nd edition, Oxford, Basil Blackwell.
Graham, G. and T. Horgan. (2000), “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”, Philosophical Studies 99, 59-87.
Guillaume, G. (1995), Leçons de linguistique de Gustave Guillaume, 1958-1959 et 1959-1960 (R. Valin and W. Hirtle, eds.), Quebec, University Laval Press.
Malafouris, L. (2013), How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
Nagel, T. (1986), A View From Nowhere, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Figueiredo, N. M. and Cuffari, E. C. (2022) "Linguistic Meaning Meets Linguistic Form In Action", Manuscrito, v. 45, n. 1, 56-79.
Ricoeur, P. (1978), The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language, London, Routledge and Kegan.
Este trabalho está licenciado sob uma licença Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2022 Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia