Inquiry 3 (1-4):73 – 88 (1960)
he notion of linguistic adequacy (the adequacy of sentences to express or describe) is explicated in terms of a set theoretical model of the communication situation. Roughly: a message is adequate to the degree it answers the receiver's questions. Adequacy is distinguished from openness, in such a way that a message can be both completely adequate in a communication event and also “inexhaustibly open”;. Using this explication it is possible to translate and clarify several familiar philosophical theses concerning the adequacy of language. The view that “humanistic”; language differs from scientific language is clarified and criticized. Seven types of empirical test of the explication are discussed.
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