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Dr Martin Lenz: Locke as a Social Externalist

What determines the meaning of linguistic expressions: the mental states of language users or external factors? John Locke is still taken to hold the simple thesis that words primarily signify the ideas in the mind of the speaker and thus to commit himself to an untenable mentalism. The present paper challenges this widespread view and sketches an argument to the effect that Locke should be seen as defending a kind of social externalism, since, for Locke, it is primarily the speech community that plays the essential role in determining meaning.

Dr Martin Lenz is currently running the research group “Transformations of Mind. Philosophical Psychology from 1500 to 1750” at Humboldt University Berlin. He studied in Bochum, Budapest and Hull (PhD in 2001 in Bochum). As a fellow of the Emmy Noether Programme (German Research Foundation), he became a Senior Member of Wolfson College and was Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge (2002-2004). From 2004, he was Research Associate at Free University Berlin, from 2006 at Humboldt University (Habilitation in 2009). From 2009 to 2010, he was Visiting Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at Tübingen University. He is the author of Mentale Sätze. Wilhelm von Ockhams Thesen zur Sprachlichkeit des Denkens (2003) and Lockes Sprachkonzeption (2010) and many articles on medieval and early modern philosophy.

Everybody welcome!

Laatst gewijzigd:30 juni 2014 09:58