Meaning Relata

Jonardon Ganeri

in Semantic Powers

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198237884
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679544 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Meaning Relata

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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The realist theory of meaning states that the meaning of an expression is the external object for which it stands. Some form of the realist theory has a good claim to be our pre-theoretical, or ‘folk’ semantics, to capture an intuitive view about meaning. Its roots lie in a standard basic idea about the nature of symbols: that symbols arestand-ins for things symbolized. In the Indian philosophical tradition much speculation about the notion of meaning centred on — or better, assumed — such a theory. This is especially so in the work of early grammarians — Mīmāmsakas, Buddhists, and Naiyāyikas — who belonged to the classical period of Indian philosophy, a period which ended in ad 900 or 1000. This chapter examines the arguments of these philosophers.

Keywords: realist theory of meaning; meanings; properties; particulars; propertied particulars

Chapter.  10330 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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