Thursday, February 7, 2019
Words and Meaning :: Philosophy of Language
Words and Meaning How do terminology bear implication? The nonion that a word means what it stands for its lengthiness - leave alone be examined and found wanting because logical analysis is totally able to illuminate limited aras of language. It will be then suggested that metaphysical speculations active the sort of entities named by words are at high hat un reformative. The idea that words get their meaning from the way they are use in public discourse will then be introduced as potentially more useful, although some problems with this approach will also be noted. Finally it will be suggested, very briefly, that an answer to this question whitethorn best be found in the common human control how we operate in the world using language.It is attractive to assume that the meaning of a word is the entity it denotes. There are many cases where this definition will do. For example in the sentence, John sat at the table. John denotes a person and table denotes an object. This seems straightforward. There are sentences, however, where the meaning is apparently pass off but where the entities are not so clear cut. The sentence on a lower floor has a clear meaning The singing was divine but the playacting was wooden.The proposition carried by this sentence is easily understood. However, the entities singing and acting are not so clear. They are ongoing actions not so clear defined as tables and chairs. Furthermore, the metaphorical qualifiers divine and wooden do not help do not sharpen the meaning. Is divine, for example, merely a fanciful replacement for enjoyable? A whole conversation well-nigh the nature of singing and acting might follow such an utterance. cite and questions of logical form do not seem to be helpful in explaining the meanings of words in ordinary talk although human beings do seem to be impelled towards rational discussion. We habitually give reasons for things. For example, a discussion about the greatest footballer often finishe s with extensive turn over about what the defining criteria might be (a verbal dispute about connotation). Subsequently the argument often then turns to which player best meets these criteria (arguments to realise denotation). Whatever the case the denotation for the greatest footballer is problematical. Much of this phase of discourse is based upon opinions. These opinions may or may not be true. This in no way affects the meanings intended by the speakers.