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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

What Is a Theory of Meaning? (I)

What Is a Theory of Meaning? (I)

(p.1) 1 What Is a Theory of Meaning? (I)
The Seas of Language

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The theory of meaning may either attempt to explain what it is to have the concepts expressible in a particular language (full‐blooded theory), or merely to associate concepts with words in that particular language (modest theory). A theory of meaning suggested by Davidson, according to which knowing the meaning of a sentence consists in the ability to produce a T‐schema for that sentence, is a modest theory. But such a theory will be either a translation manual (in which case it does not explain the knowledge of language), or will have to be construed holistically (in which case a systematic account of the mastery of language is impossible).

Keywords:   Davidsonholism, meaning, Tarski, theory of meaning, truth

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