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Semantic/reference/meaning/reality/McGinn: what distinguishes my semantic relations to the world from the multitude of other relationships in which I stand to it? We even find it difficult to say what it is that seems to amaze us.
Whoever controls the meaning of the word, has never seen the vast majority of the corresponding objects.
Semantics/reality/thought/language/McGinn: most of which we can form an image based on our facilities, has no semantic properties whereto a little uncomplicated semantics is added to deal with other people folk-psychologically.
This makes it unlikely that we will have facilities to detect the possibility of meaning. E.g. even monkeys probably have a primitive semantics, but no philosophical one.
N.B.: If we were able to understand our semantic skills, that would be a biological coincidence. And that we are capable of anything to mean that does not have the sense that we understand its nature.
Semantics: the semantic content is bound to the function, here the function to produce organs. Therefore, the specific genes exist because they create the heart, kidneys and consciousness.
Die Grenzen vernünftigen Fragens Stuttgart 1996
Wie kommt der Geist in die Materie? München 2001