Of words and tools

Inquiry 10 (1-4):181 – 195 (1967)
Further to Herman Tennessen's recent methodological criticisms of Linguistic philosophy, the present paper seeks to offer some theoretical criticisms. Two main claims of Linguistic philosophy are examined: (1) that the concept of ?use? satisfactorily explains how words and expressions are meaningful; and (2), that the correspondence theory of meaning has been successfully repudiated. After a brief exposition, the explanation is further specified as being analogical (words are like tools). Six objections (semantical, logical and psychological) are suggested. It is concluded that not only is the explanation not satisfactory, but that some of the same problems of the older theory may also be implicit in the ?use? theory
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    Max Black (1952). Critical Thinking. New York, Prentice-Hall.

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