Meaning

Edited by Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins University)
About this topic
Summary

Words and phrases have meaning. But what are meanings? Maybe they are the objects and properties that our words are about. But then ‘Mark Twain’ and ‘Samuel Clemens’ would have the same meaning, even though one and the same person can affirm the sentence ‘Mark Twain was a great writer’ but reject the sentence ‘Samuel Clemens was a great writer.’ And what makes it the case that some squiggles or sounds are meaningful? Perhaps it’s because of the mental states of language users, but then in virtue of what do those states have their meaning or content? Might the explanation run in the other direction, so that our mental states have content only because we are language users? Also, can our grasp of what words mean explain our basic logical and mathematical knowledge and otherwise underwrite a compelling conception of the a priori? Perhaps it’s because we know what ‘and’ means that we know that ‘A and B’ is true just in case ‘A’ is true and ‘B’ is true. This category subsumes work that ranges over these and other questions concerning meaning and its bearing on a variety of philosophical topics.

Key works

Frege 1892 and Russell 1905 are seminal works on meaning and reference. Kripke 1980 and Putnam 1975 argue, among other things, that semantic properties are determined by factors external to language users. Grice 1957 and Davidson 1973 explore the relation of language and thought. Quine 1951 rejects the idea of philosophically interesting truths in virtue of meaning and knowledge in virtue of knowledge of meaning.

Introductions Speaks 2010 provides a survey with references. Richard 2003 is a good collection of articles.
Related
Subcategories
Intentionality* (13,689 | 1,921)
History/traditions: Meaning

Contents
11323 found
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1 — 50 / 11323
Material to categorize
  1. Kotoba to sekai ga kawaru toki: imihenka no tetsugaku (When Words and World Change: Philosophy of Meaning-change).Tomomi Asakura - 2024 - Tokyo: Transview.
    言葉の意味が変わってしまうのはなぜか。単語の指すものの内実が変わったり、同じものを指していたとしても受け止め方が変わったりする。同じ一つの文の意味も決してずっと同じであり続けるわけではない。このとき、 私たちにはいったい何が起きているのだろうか。この問いを、そもそも「意味」とは何なのか、「自己」や「出来事」とは何かといった哲学ではよく知られたさまざまな問題と交錯させながら追究する。.
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  2. Review of Dolf Rami’s ‘Names and Context: A Use-Sensitive Philosophical Account’. [REVIEW]Nikhil Mahant - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (3):1269-1273.
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  3. Words that free you: what you say is what you become.Jacques Martel - 2023 - Rochester, Vermont: Findhorn Press.
    Explains how each word carries an energy that increases or decreases our energy level and how our choice of words creates our reality. Offers tables for converting the negative to the positive and shows which words to use to change our lives for the better. Shares healing words in mantras, guided relaxation, and chants as well as a writing technique that brings emotional healing.
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  4. Thinking about thinking: mind and meaning in the era of techno-nihilism.James D. Madden - 2023 - Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
    Thinking About Thinking: Mind and Meaning in the Era of Techno-Nihilism addresses our existential crisis by reminding us of the conditions for meaning that have been obscured by the modern technological mentality. Madden weaves together disparate insights from Wittgenstein, Hegel, Aristotle, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Sophocles, and others in an attempt to account for our mindedness in terms of its inextricable connection to a world capable of inspiring our care. The mind is not a discrete entity locked behind the skull or (...)
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  5. Flourish: finding purpose in the unknown and unexpected seasons of life.Grace Wabuke Klein - 2023 - New York: Worthy Publishing.
    The trials of life can wear us down. Unexpected events force us to face a new reality and unanswered prayers lead us to a growing frustration about why God doesn't intervene. We wonder if anything good can come out of this painful, dark, winter season. Grace Wabuke Klein knows that there is purpose in our darkest days and seasons of waiting. In Flourish, Grace meets the reader in their heartache, disappointment, and pain and gives encouragement and a fresh perspective on (...)
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  6. Existence et significativité: six études.Michel Dupuis - 2023 - Paris: Hermann.
    Six études mettent en lumière l'importance de la significativité dans l'existence, en particulier de nos jours, au coeur d'une société postmoderne désenchantée, à la fois en recherche de sens et saturée d'indications en tous genres. Sont appelés à en témoigner des penseurs - de Heidegger à Blumenberg, en passant par Levinas et Winnicott -, mais aussi le champ de l'éthique des soins et la Daseinsanalyse de Binswanger."--Page 4 of cover.
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  7. Philosophies du sens.Charlotte Morel, Christian Berner & Matthieu Amat (eds.) - 2023 - Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France: Presses universitaires du Septentrion.
    Schelling demandait: 'Pourquoi y a-t-il du sens, non du non-sens au lieu du sens?' Dans cette question, la notion n'est pas un signe renvoyant à quelque chose, pas plus que lorsque l'on dit communément non pas d'un énoncé, mais d'une chose, d'un état de fait, qu'ils 'ont un sens' ou non. Comment aborder philosophiquement cette version du sens? Notre ouvrage part d'une conviction : la structure philosophique sous-tendant l'idée du sens s'ouvre avec Kant, dans la mesure où on peut le (...)
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  8. A Study of Plato's Cratylus.Geoffrey Bagwell - 2010 - Dissertation, Duquesne University
    In the last century, philosophers turned their attention to language. One place they have looked for clues about its nature is Plato’s Cratylus, which considers whether names are naturally or conventionally correct. The dialogue is a source of annoyance to many commentators because it does not take a clear position on the central question. At times, it argues that language is conventional, and, at other times, defends the view that language is natural. This lack of commitment has led to a (...)
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  9. Processing adjunct control: Evidence on the use of structural information and prediction in reference resolution.Jeffrey J. Green, Michael McCourt, Ellen Lau & Alexander Williams - 2020 - Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics 5 (1):1-33.
    The comprehension of anaphoric relations may be guided not only by discourse, but also syntactic information. In the literature on online processing, however, the focus has been on audible pronouns and descriptions whose reference is resolved mainly on the former. This paper examines one relation that both lacks overt exponence, and relies almost exclusively on syntax for its resolution: adjunct control, or the dependency between the null subject of a non-finite adjunct and its antecedent in sentences such as Mickey talked (...)
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  10. Evolutionary Emergence of Purposive Goals and Values: A Naturalistic Teleology.Donald A. Crosby - 2023 - Albany: SUNY Press.
    Develops and defends a philosophical account of meaning, purpose, and value in human life and experience that is naturalistic without being reductionistic or scientistic.
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  11. The omnitemporality of idealities.James Sares - 2024 - Continental Philosophy Review.
    This article develops an interpretation and defense of Husserl’s account of the omnitemporality of idealities. I first examine why Husserl rejects the atemporality and temporal individuation of idealities on phenomenological grounds, specifically that these attributions prove countersensical in how they relate idealities to consciousness. As an alternative to these conceptions, I develop a two-sided interpretation of omnitemporality expressed in modal terms of actuality and possibility, the actual referring to appearances in time and the possible, to reactivation at any time. In (...)
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  12. Intention and Judgment-Dependence: First-Personal vs. Third-Personal Accounts.Ali Hossein Khani - 2023 - Philosophical Explorations 27 (1):41-56.
    ABSTRACT A Third-Person-Based or Third-Personal Judgment-Dependent account of mental content implies that, as an a priori matter, facts about a subject’s mental content are precisely captured by the judgments of a second-person or an interpreter. Alex Byrne, Bill Child, and others have discussed attributing such a view to Donald Davidson. This account significantly departs from a First-Person-Based or First-Personal Judgment-Dependent account, such as Crispin Wright’s, according to which, as an a priori matter, facts about intentional content are constituted by the (...)
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  13. Ideologie symbolischer Formen.Ljubomir Trbuhović - 2003 - [Zürich]: Ljubomir Trbuhović.
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  14. Universalʹnyĭ mnogoslov: Kniga dli︠a︡ tekh, komu interesno zhitʹ osmyslenno.Andreĭ Maksimov - 2015 - Moskva: T︠S︡entrpoligraf.
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  15. The semantics of common nouns and the nature of semantics.Joseph Almog & Andrea Bianchi - 2023 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 100:115-135.
    In “Is semantics possible?” Putnam connected two themes: the very possibility of semantics (as opposed to formal model theory) for natural languages and the proper semantic treatment of common nouns. Putnam observed that abstract semantic accounts are modeled on formal languages model theory: the substantial contribution is rules for logical connectives (given outside the models), whereas the lexicon (individual constants and predicates) is treated merely schematically by the models. This schematic treatment may be all that is needed for an account (...)
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  16. Purposefooled: why chasing your dreams, finding your calling, and reaching for greatness will never be enough.Kelly Needham - 2023 - Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson Books, An Imprint of Thomas Nelson.
    Author and Bible teacher Kelly Needham reveals how we've been fooled into chasing meaning in all the wrong places, identifies the source of our hunger for the extraordinary, and shows us the steps we can take today to build a purpose-filled reality without turning our lives upside-down.
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  17. How Self-Reference Builds the World (Part 2).Cosmin Visan - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 14 (6):460-478.
    If you were to build a world from Nothing, how would you do it? By investigating the nature of self-reference, we will show how this can be achieved, how starting from Nothing, Everything can be obtained. Various implications of the definition of self-reference will be investigated, showing how it can account for various aspects of the phenomenology of consciousness, thus showing how starting from only 1 principle, a world of infinite complexity can be obtained. Parallels with set theory will be (...)
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  18. How Self-Reference Builds the World (Part 1).Cosmin Visan - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 14 (6):443-459.
    If you were to build a world from Nothing, how would you do it? By investigating the nature of self-reference, we will show how this can be achieved, how starting from Nothing, Everything can be obtained. Various implications of the definition of self-reference will be investigated, showing how it can account for various aspects of the phenomenology of consciousness, thus showing how starting from only 1 principle, a world of infinite complexity can be obtained. Parallels with set theory will be (...)
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  19. Underspecification and Communication.Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    It has recently been argued that our use of vague language poses an intractable problem for any account of content and communication on which (i) the things we assert are propositions and (ii) understanding an assertion requires recognizing which proposition the speaker asserted. John MacFarlane has argued that this problem concerning vague language is itself a species of an even more general problem for such traditional accounts – the problem posed by “felicitous” underspecification. Repurposing certain ideas from Allan Gibbard, MacFarlane (...)
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  20. Yü i hsüeh yü chên li.Shu-Hsien Liu - 1963
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  21. Is meaning cognized?David Balcarras - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (5):1276-1295.
    In this article, I defend an account of linguistic comprehension on which meaning is not cognized, or on which we do not tacitly know our language's semantics. On this view, sentence comprehension is explained instead by our capacity to translate sentences into the language of thought. I explain how this view can explain our capacity to correctly interpret novel utterances, and then I defend it against several standing objections.
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  22. Une introduction à la sémantique.Tullio de Mauro - 1969 - Paris,: Payot.
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  23. Mal ŭi him.Kyu-ho Yi - 1970
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  24. Simvolizat︠s︡ii︠a︡ v poznanii.Leonid Vasilʹevich Uvarov - 1971
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  25. Tricky Truths: How Should Alethic Pluralism Accommodate Racial Truths?Ragnar van der Merwe & Phila Msimang - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-23.
    Some alethic pluralists maintain that there are two kinds of truths operant in our alethic discourse: a realist kind and an anti-realist kind. In this paper, we argue that such a binary conception cannot accommodate certain social truths, specifically truths about race. Most alethic pluralists surprisingly overlook the status of racial truths. Douglas Edwards is, however, an exception. In his version of alethic pluralism—Determination Pluralism—racial truths are superassertible (anti-realist) true rather than correspondence (realist) true. We argue that racial truths exhibit (...)
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  26. Yü i hsüeh.Hua-Shan Tai - 1974
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  27. Semantica bidimensionale: fondazione filosofica, con un progetto di teoria del significato.Francesca Rivetti Barbò - 1974 - Roma: ELIA.
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  28. Struktury znachenii︠a︡: Logich. analiz.V. V. Petrov - 1979 - Novosibirsk: Nauka, Sib. otd-nie.
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  29. Testimonial knowledge and content preservation.Joey Pollock - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (10):3073-3097.
    Most work in the epistemology of testimony is built upon a simple model of communication according to which, when the speaker asserts that p, the hearer must recover this very content, p. In this paper, I argue that this ‘Content Preservation Model’ of communication cannot bear the weight placed on it by contemporary work on testimony. It is popularly thought that testimonial exchanges are often successful such that we gain a great deal of knowledge through testimony. In addition, the testimonial (...)
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  30. Zu sprachphilosophischen Aspekten bei Georg von der Gabelentz aus werksbiographischer und sinologischer Perspektive [Aspects of Georg von der Gabelentz's Philosophy of Language from the Perspective of his Works, his Biography, and from a Sinological Perspective].David Bartosch - 2020 - In Henning Klöter & Xuetao Li (eds.), Von Lindenblättern und verderbten Dialekten: Neue Studien zu dem Sinologen und Sprachwissenschaftler Georg von der Gabelentz (1840–1893) [Lime Leaves and Corrupted Dialects: New Studies on the Sinologist and Linguist Georg von der Gabelentz (1840-1893)]. Harrassowitz. pp. 53-76.
  31. Ethics in the Tractatus. A Condition of the Possibility of Meaning?Benjamin De Mesel - 2023 - In Martin Stokhof & Hao Tang (eds.), Wittgenstein's Tractatus at 100. Springer Verlag. pp. 57-76.
    My aim in this chapter is to explore an analogy between logic and ethics, as Wittgenstein understands them in the Tractatus. First, I argue that Wittgenstein regards logic as a condition of the possibility of meaning, in the sense that logic makes meaningful language and thought possible. Second, I ask why Wittgenstein calls both logic and ethics ‘transcendental’. I suggest that, while logic is a condition of the possibility of semantic meaning, ethics is a condition of the possibility of existential (...)
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  32. al-Muʻtaqad al-muhaymin: al-muḥarrik wa-al-dumyah.Sāmī Adʹham - 2000 - Bayrūt: Dār Kitābāt.
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  33. William P. Alston.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2009 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Volume 5, Twentieth-Century Philosophers of Religion. New York: Routledge. pp. 221-232.
    This is a 12-page article on the life and work in philosophy of religion by William P. Alston (1921-2009).
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  34. Replies.Crispin Wright - 2012 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Mind, meaning, and knowledge: themes from the philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
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  35. Moore's Proof, liberals, and conservatives : is there a (Wittgensteinian) third way?Annalisa Coliva - 2012 - In Mind, meaning, and knowledge: themes from the philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
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  36. Wright on Moore.José L. Zalabardo - 2012 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Mind, meaning, and knowledge: themes from the philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
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  37. When warrant transmits.James Pryor - 2012 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Mind, meaning, and knowledge: themes from the philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
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  38. Expression, truth, and reality : some variations on themes from Wright.Dorit Bar-On - 2012 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Mind, meaning, and knowledge: themes from the philosophy of Crispin Wright. Oxford University Press.
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  39. Objectivity and communicability of meaning.Sadhan Chakraborti & Gaṅgādhara Kara (eds.) - 2015 - New Delhi: Suryodaya Books.
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  40. Inferentialism and social delusion.Kamil Lemanek - 2023 - Theoria 89 (4):535-547.
    This work sets out to present how the notion of delusion may be understood (and extended) within the semantic framework of Robert Brandom's inferentialism. The mechanisms of reliability and community‐oriented proprieties, among others, provide inferentialists with effective tools for understanding commitments (and so beliefs) in communities. These tools may be used to describe and assess both commitments that we might consider sound and commitments that we might consider delusional, both in terms of how they arise and in terms of how (...)
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  41. Wunsch und Bedeutung: Grundzüge einer naturalistischen Bedeutungstheorie.Axel Hecker - 2020 - Wien: Passagen Verlag.
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  42. Horizonti kontemporalnosti.Dean Komel - 2021 - Ljubljana: INR Inštitut nove revije zavod za humanistiko.
    Focuses on the understanding of meaning as a way of thinking in parallels.
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  43. Repenser l'insignifiance.Philippe Monneret, Faouzi Horchani & Jamel Zaidi (eds.) - 2021 - Tunis: Institut Supérier des Sciences Humaines de Médenine.
    1. Littérature et insignifiance -- 2. Linguistique et insignifiance -- 3. Art et insignifiance.
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  44. Reaching God speed: unlocking the secret broadcast revealing the mystery of everything.Joe Kovacs - 2022 - New York: Fidelis Books.
    The answer is surprising, and what we're about to learn will wake us up to a reality most of us never knew existed.The reason we're so oblivious is because we've all been operating at human speed, relying on our own physical power and our five senses. But there is something extremely important we've all been missing. It holds the key to everything good--the key to life, success, happiness, peace of mind, and understanding beyond our wildest imagination. It's perhaps the best-kept (...)
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  45. Naze ikiru imi ga kanjirarenai no ka: michitarita kūkyo ni tsuite = why do I feel no meaning to live.Kanji Izumiya - 2022 - Tōkyō: Kasama Shoin.
    なぜ学校に行くのか、 なぜ仕事をするのか、 そもそもなぜ生きるのか......? 物質的な不足や社会的な不自由さがない状況で抱く「空虚感」とどう向き合うかを考える一冊。.
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  46. Interpretation: a critical primer.Nathan Eric Dickman - 2023 - Bristol, CT: Equinox Publishing.
    This volume examines the nature of interpretation, strategies within interpretation, and negotiations about the adequacy of an interpretation, with special attention paid to possible roles interpretation plays in the academic study of religions. Each chapter of this book refines a conceptual element that combines with others into a theory of interpretation useful for the classroom and in scholarship on hermeneutics.
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  47. Wittgenstein: The Way Out of the Fly-Bottle.Severin Schroeder - 2006 - Cambridge: Polity.
    This book offers a lucid and highly readable account of Wittgenstein's philosophy, framed against the background of his extraordinary life and character. Woven together with a biographical narrative, the chapters explain the key ideas of Wittgenstein's work, from his first book, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, to his mature masterpiece, the Philosophical Investigations.
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  48. Slur Reclamation – Polysemy, Echo, or Both?Zuzanna Jusińska - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):689–707.
    This paper concerns the topic of slur reclamation. I start with presenting two seemingly opposing accounts of slur reclamation, Jeshion’s (2020) Polysemy view and Bianchi’s (2014) Echoic view. Then, using the data provided by linguists, I discuss the histories of the reclamation of the slur ‘queer’ and of the n-word, which bring me to presenting a view of reclamation that combines the Polysemy view and Echoic view. The Combined view of slur reclamation proposed in this paper postulates meaning change while (...)
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  49. Imiron.Fumio Nakajima - 1947
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  50. Marazm sovremennoi burzhuaznoi filosofii.B. Ė Bykhovskiĭ - 1947 - Moscow,:
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1 — 50 / 11323