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Akeel Bilgrami (born 1950) is an Indian-born philosopher of language and of mind.
Belief and Meaning (1992)
- The "meaning" in the title of the book acknowledges the close and familiar connection between intentionality and meaning. The connection holds between the meaning of the sentence Smith utters when he utters "Bigmouth has struck again" and his belief that Bigmouth has struck again. The idea of this close relation is not intended to convey the obvious falsehood that the meanings of the sentences which an agent utters always express the contents of his beliefs. Utterances which are lies or metaphors, for instance, spoil the generality of that relation. Rather, the relation is conveyed by the fact that a sincere, non-self-deceived, utterance of (or assent to) a sentence by an agent is an utterance of something whose literal meaning gives the content of the belief that is expressed by that utterance. The fact that sentences are often not uttered this way does not spoil the connection between belief and meaning, though it obviously makes it necessary to produce an appropriately nuanced formulation of the connection for those utterances. The underlying effect of acknowledging the connection, of course, is to make the study of an agent's mind integral to the study of his meanings, and vice versa.
- Ch. 1 : Belief, Meaning, and the External World