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Semantic Powers – Meaning and the Means of Knowing in Classical Indian
Philosophy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Semantic Powers: Meaning and the Means of Knowing in Classical Indian Philosophy

Jonardon Ganeri


The author of this book defends a conception of language as essentially a means for the reception of knowledge through testimony. He argues that the possibility of testimony constrains the form of a theory of meaning. In particular, the semantic power of a word, its ability to stand for or take the place of a thing, derives from the epistemic powers of understanders, their capacity to acquire knowledge simply by understanding what is said. The author finds this account in the work of certain Indian philosophers of language, those belonging to the late classical school of Navya-Nyāya. He presen ... More

Keywords: reception of knowledge, testimony, theory of meaning, semantic power, word, Indian philosophers, modes of thought, meaning constituents, theoretical names, anaphora

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1999 Print ISBN-13: 9780198237884
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198237884.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonardon Ganeri, author
University of Nottingham
Author Webpage