What are actually the reasons for saying that the meaning of words are things-in-the-mind rather than things-in-the-world?
(Prompted by a philosophy course on metaphysics)
If we put you inside a box and told you to think of a name for a cat, could we tell what the name was by looking at the cat? No, we'd have to open up the box and look at (or listen to ) you. Ditto for any similar game, like creating slang, interchanging meanings, creating private spellings, doing math and then giving names to important theorems, etc.
This only works for (at least partly-) intentional definition though - if your definition of red is to point at a stop sign, then a fire truck, then a tomato, and then to point at grass and say "not this... (read more)
This is a thread where people can ask questions that they would ordinarily feel embarrassed for not knowing the answer to. The previous "stupid" questions thread went to over 800 comments in two and a half weeks, so I think it's time for a new one.