The Diversity of Meaning  book cover
1st Edition

The Diversity of Meaning

ISBN 9780367771997
Published December 10, 2021 by Routledge
384 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Preface; 1: An Eighteenth-Century Innovation in the Concept of Meaning; 2: Meanings Conceived as what Words have in a Language or Culture; 3: Meanings Conceived as Topics for Philosophical Investigation; 4: The Concept of Meaning in the Problem of Univerals; 5: Meanings Conceived as what are Understood in an Act of Communication; 6: Meaning and the a Priori; 7: Meaning and the Law of Extensionality; 8: Meanings Conceived as Topics for Formal-Logical Investigation; 9: Meaning and Vagueness; 10: The Concept of Meaning in the Problem of Natural Necessity; Appendix A; Appendix B; Index

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L. Jonathan Cohen