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Meaning and Language

by: Satya Sundar Sethy

This volume is a study of two semantic perspectives — meaning atomism and meaning holism. It mainly focuses on contrasting these perspectives or models of meaning and evaluates them from different philosophical standings to arrive at an explicit conception of meaning that will correctly reveal the semantics of natural language.

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ISBN: 9788124608548
Year Of Publication: 2016
Edition: 1st Edition
Pages : xx, 200p.
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 450

Overview

This volume explores the nature of meaning and the way it functions in language. Philosophers such as Aristotle, Thomas Acquinas, John Locke, Immanuel Kant and David Hume had keen interest in the study of meaning, though it was not central to their philosophical inquiry. But the contemporary philosophy takes a radical twist towards language which is characterized as linguistic turn in philosophy. Meaning and its correct characterization are the foremost concerns of contemporary philosophy.
Study of two semantic perspectives — meaning atomism and meaning holism — is the core content of this book and it mainly focuses on contrasting these two perspectives or models of meaning and evaluates them with a view to arrive at an explicit conception of meaning that will correctly reveal the semantics of natural language.
In doing so, it vividly discusses the two perspectives of meaning along with the atomistic theory of Gottlob Frege, Wittgenstein’s approach to meaning, logical positivists’ conception of meaning, why meaning atomism fails to capture the uniqueness of meaning, Quinian theory of meaning holism, Davidson’s approach to meaning holism, and Later Wittgenstein’s view on meaning holism, thus covering a wide gamut of the topic.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
1. Two Conceptions of Meaning
Atomistic Theory of Meaning
Tarski and ‘Convention-T’
Indexical Sentences
Meaning Holism
Multiple Meaning
2. Frege and Atomistic Theory of Meaning
Frege’s Notion of Sense and Reference
Sense Determination and Reference
3. Early Wittgenstein and Atomistic Theory of Meaning
Picture Theory of Meaning
4. Logical Positivistism and Atomistic Theory of Meaning
Elimination of Metaphysics
The Criterion of Meaningfulness
Is Conclusive Verification Possible?
Are the Universal Statements Meaningless?
Ethical Assertions and the Verifiability Criterion
5. The Untenability of Atomistic Theory of Meaning
Drawbacks of Frege’s Meaning Atomism
Problems with the Referential Theory of Meaning
Picture Theory of Meaning and Its Inadequacy
Tarski and the Problem of “T-Schema”
6. Quine and Meaning Holism
The Linguistic and the Epistemological Basis of the Analytic–Synthetic Distinction
Two Dogmas: The First Layer Argument
Two Dogmas: The Second Layer Argument
Indeterminacy of Translation
7. Davidson and Meaning Holism
Conditions of Material Adequacy
Theory of Meaning as a Theory of Interpretation
Shareability of Belief
Extensional Problem
The Compositionality Solution
The Nomologicity Solution
The Charity Solution
8. Later Wittgenstein and Meaning Holism
Family Resemblance
Chess Analogy
Wittgenstein: The Common Behaviour of Mankind and Forms of Life
9. Conclusion: Towards an Idea of a Moderate Meaning Holism
Dummett’s Refutation of Global Holism
Dummett’s Criticism on Quinean Holism
Problems of Molecular Holism
Dummett’s Submission for Meaning Holism
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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Dr Satya Sundar Sethy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India. He has published several papers in international and national journals, contributed book chapters to the edited books. He is credited with an edited book Contemporary Ethical Issues in Engineering (2015), published by IGI Global, Pennsylvania, USA. His current research interests include Philosophy of Language, Analytic Philosophy, Professional Ethics (Engineering and Higher Education), Indian Philosophy, Logic (NyÀya and Aristotelean), and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education.
Books of Satya Sundar Sethy