Meaning as Use
It is proposed here that the meaning of each word, w, is constituted by its ‘basic acceptance property’—a property roughly of the form, ‘Our acceptance of such‐and‐such sentences containing w explains our overall use of it’. Seven arguments in favour of this idea are developed—the principal one (in light of constitution issues elsewhere in science) being that what engenders the meaning of a word will be the property that explains the symptoms of that meaning, which are the word's various uses. Objections to this position are then considered, on the basis of considerations of indeterminacy, determination of reference, holism, pragmatics, propositions, ambiguity, synonymy, definition, individualism, externalism, and the relation between language and thought.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.