Chapter

Understanding, Thought, and Meaning

David Charles

in Aristotle on Meaning and Essence

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199256730
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597183 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019925673X.003.0007

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies

 Understanding, Thought, and Meaning

Show Summary Details

Preview

Aristotle's solution to the problem raised in Ch. 4 depends on his account of how we arrive at thoughts on the basis of experience. In his view, we standardly acquire a term for a kind on the basis of contact with members of a kind, without thereby knowing that the kind in question exists. Further, we can grasp such terms without knowing that the kind (if it exists) has a unifying basic feature that explains its necessary properties. Our understanding of the kind is to be compared with that of a craftsman and not that of a proto‐scientist. Aristotle's view is distinguished from several twentieth‐century accounts of these issues (e.g. modern essentialists such as Putnam, neo‐Fregeans, dual‐component theorists).

Keywords: Aristotle; dual‐component theories; essentialism; experience; Frege; master craftsman; Putnam; thought; understanding

Chapter.  15043 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.