19 November 2013, 18.00 – 20.00

Mind-Brain Lecture: Mitchell S. Green (Connecticut)

“Gesture, ostension, and meaning”

Much research concerned with both the ontogeny and phylogeny of communication assumes a large division between objective correlations (“that smoke means fire”) and the kind of meaning characteristic of mature, modern humans (“That gesture means the party is boring”). This division follows a long precedent set by Grice’s distinction between “natural” and “non-natural” meaning. I will develop a notion of meaning—“organic meaning”--that is richer than mere objective correlation without requiring intentions, much less intentions to produce cognitive effects on others. When intentions do enter the picture, organic meaning helps explain how gesture makes them manifest, as well how conventionalization can arise. A subsidiary notion of organic meaning, which I call objectual meaning, will shed light on ostensive communication.

Mitchell Green, Professor of Philosophy, University of Connecticut, uconn.academia.edu/MitchGreen



Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Luisenstraße 56
Room 144 (ground floor)
10117 Berlin