Book

Reflections on Meaning

Paul Horwich

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199251247
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603983 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019925124X.001.0001
Reflections on Meaning

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The broad aim of this work is to explain how mere noises, marks, gestures, and mental/neural symbols are able to capture the world, that is, how words and sentences (in whatever medium) come to mean what they do, to stand for certain things, to be true or false of reality. Paul Horwich’s answer takes off from Wittgenstein’s appealingly demystifying remark, that the meaning of a term is nothing over and above its use, and proceeds with a groundbreaking articulation and defence of that idea, showing how it can deal successfully with Quinean and Kripkean forms of scepticism about meaning, with the various normative features of thought and language, with the paradoxical phenomenon of vagueness, with the way that word-meanings combine to yield sentence-meanings, and with Chomsky-style models of the language faculty. The main lines of this theory were first suggested in Horwich’s 1998 book, Meaning. The present volume (which requires no familiarity with its predecessor) provides a host of improved, formulations, fresh arguments, responses to criticism, and extensions of the position into new areas.

Keywords: meaning; true; Wittgenstein; use; Quine; Kripke; thought; language; vagueness; Chomsky

Book.  248 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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Table of Contents

The Space of Issues and Options in Reflections on Meaning

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A Use Theory of Meaning in Reflections on Meaning

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The Pseudo-Problem of Error in Reflections on Meaning

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The Sharpness of Vague Terms in Reflections on Meaning

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Norms of Truth and Meaning in Reflections on Meaning

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Deflating Compositionality in Reflections on Meaning

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