Jonardon Ganeri

in Artha

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780198074137
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082131 | DOI:

Series: Foundations of Philosophy in India


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The study of language is important in India's intellectual history. The disciplines of philosophy of language and semantic theory should recognize Gadādhara Bhaṭṭācārya as one of its great historical figures. There is a tension between the conception of language as primarily an instrument of knowing and the realist theory of meaning. ‘Modes of thought’ (viṣayatāvacchedaka) is introduced into the theory of meaning, and it raises many questions, about their nature and their role. It argues that the modes satisfy one main condition for being Fregean senses: as adverbial modifiers of the thought-object relation, they are implicated in one's possession of discriminating knowledge of objects. Having introduced modes of thought into the theory of meaning, the Indian philosophers of language are able to give a new account of two important kinds of terms which earlier writers had little or no success in explaining: names and pronouns.

Keywords: philosophy of language; India; semantic theory; modes of thought; theory of meaning; Indian philosophers; names; pronouns; Gadādhara Bhaṭṭācārya

Chapter.  2169 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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