Verificationist Theory of Meaning

In U. Windhorst, M. Binder & N. Hirowaka (eds.), Encyclopaedic Reference of Neuroscience. Springer (2008)

Abstract

The verification theory of meaning aims to characterise what it is for a sentence to be meaningful and also what kind of abstract object the meaning of a sentence is. A brief outline is given by Rudolph Carnap, one of the theory's most prominent defenders: If we knew what it would be for a given sentence to be found true then we would know what its meaning is. [...] thus the meaning of a sentence is in a certain sense identical with the way we determine its truth or falsehood; and a sentence has meaning only if such a determination is possible. [4: 420] In short, the verification theory of meaning claims that the meaning of a sentence is the method of its verification.

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Markus Schrenk
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

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