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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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Truth and Meaning

Truth and Meaning

Chapter:
(p.147) 6 Truth and Meaning
Source:
The Seas of Language
Author(s):

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198236212.003.0006

According to the code conception of language, we need language merely because we happen to lack the faculty to transmit thoughts directly from one mind to another. A fatal obstacle to the code conception is the complexity of thought: having a thought involves possession of its component concepts, and concepts cannot come before consciousness unless expressed in words. However, the explanatory priority of thought and language is not the most urgent: both the theory of meaning and the theory of thought have to explain what it is to have a thought. The principal trait of thoughts is their aptness for being true or false. In order to say anything illuminating about the concept of truth, we must link it with the notions of recognizing and of accepting a thought or statement as true.

Keywords:   assertion, Frege, meaning, theory of meaning, thought, truth, verification

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