In one famous study, she reliably chose the correct item to complete a sequence of actions.

This led the study’s researchers to conclude that Sarah had a “theory of mind,” complete with the concepts intention, belief, and knowledge.

As it turns out, the problem of assigning meanings to words was the guiding obsession of philosophy in the 20th century.

Ultimately, Quine concluded that there would always be multiple equally good translations.

Quine imagined a foreign language completely unrelated to any human language, but here, I’ll use German for illustration.

Suppose a speaker of the foreign language utters the sentence: “Schnee ist weiss.” Her friends smile and nod, accepting the sentence as true.

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