The Diversity of Meaning
First published in 1962, The Diversity of Meaning was written to provide a more constructive criticism of the philosophy of ordinary language than the more destructive approach that it was commonly subjected to at the time of publication.
The book deals with a range of philosophical problems in a way that cuts underneath the more typical orthodoxies of the time. It is concerned primarily with the concept of meaning and asks not just how people ordinarily speak or think about meanings, but also what is gained or lost by their so doing. The author challenges the assumption that there is only one way of talking about meanings and instead argues that no single analysis of meaning can suit the semantics of lexicographers, language-teachers, translators, logicians, historians of ideas, psychologists and philosophers. By examining various common concepts of meaning and their relations to one another, the book sheds light on the issues most alive in philosophical controversy at the time of publication, giving it lasting relevance for those interested in the history of philosophical thought and theory.