more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 12588

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / c. Meaning by Role]

Full Idea

Conceptual role semantics involves meanings of expressions determined by used contents of concepts and thoughts, contents constructed from concepts, concepts determined by functional role, which involves relations to things in the world.

Gist of Idea

Meaning from use of thoughts, constructed from concepts, which have a role relating to reality


Gilbert Harman ((Nonsolipsistic) Conceptual Role Semantics [1987], 12.1)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Reasoning Meaning and Mind' [OUP 1999], p.206

A Reaction

This essay is the locus classicus for conceptual-role semantics. Any attempt to say what something IS by giving an account of its function always feels wrong to me.