The meaning of “water”: An unsolved problem

Philosophical Issues 16 (1):184-199 (2006)
Abstract
WATER. …I. The liquid of which seas, lakes, and rivers are composed, and which falls as rain and issues from springs. When pure, it is transparent, colourless (except as seen in large quantity, when it has a blue tint), tasteless, and inodorous. --Oxford English Dictionary …the fact that an English speaker in 1750 might have called XYZ ‘water,’ whereas he or his successors would not have called XYZ water in 1800 or 1850 does not mean that the ‘meaning’ of ‘water’ changed for the average speaker in the interval.
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