Chapter

Truth and Meaning

Michael Dummett

in The Seas of Language

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236214
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597350 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198236212.003.0006
Truth and Meaning

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According to the code conception of language, we need language merely because we happen to lack the faculty to transmit thoughts directly from one mind to another. A fatal obstacle to the code conception is the complexity of thought: having a thought involves possession of its component concepts, and concepts cannot come before consciousness unless expressed in words. However, the explanatory priority of thought and language is not the most urgent: both the theory of meaning and the theory of thought have to explain what it is to have a thought. The principal trait of thoughts is their aptness for being true or false. In order to say anything illuminating about the concept of truth, we must link it with the notions of recognizing and of accepting a thought or statement as true.

Keywords: assertion; Frege; meaning; theory of meaning; thought; truth; verification

Chapter.  10641 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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