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Three Theories of Meaning

 
 
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 05:43 am
1. When I use a term it means only what I want it to mean (mean by it) "neither more nor less".
(The Humpty-Dumpty theory).

2. Terms have essential meanings so that it is possible for everyone to use a term wrongly. (For instance, the essential meaning of "philosopher" is "lover of wisdom" so even if everyone thinks that A. J. Ayer was a philosopher, but if Ayer was not a lover of wisdom, then Ayer was not a philosopher. (The Platonic theory of meaning)

3. "Words are a wise man's counters, but they are the money of fools" Thomas Hobbes.
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Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 06:27 am
@kennethamy,
Are you referring to meaning in general, or the meaning that we assign to communicational interpretations? you have to make clear as to which you are consulting because all three examples make reference only to language.

The first is clearly the only model with any sense of verity on reality.

But I think the question we should be asking is what meaning is outside of an illusion in living beings.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 06:42 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;166825 wrote:
because all three examples make reference only to language.

The first is clearly the only model with any sense of verity on reality.

But I think the question we should be asking is what meaning is outside of an illusion in living beings.


That's right. I am talking about language. What does "verity on reality" mean? I might ask that question, except that I have no idea what it would mean. But is it all right with you if I just stick to the three theories above? You can ask your question.
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:24 am
@kennethamy,
Verity on reality (using the humpty dumpty theory) would represent a principal that is truthful or relevant to reality. We can certainly stick with the proposed three, (I was unaware that it was regarding language as I simply clicked on the recent post link on the home menu)

Are you not certain on which theory holds correct?
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:41 am
@kennethamy,
4. Symbols, words and phrases obtain their meanings by referring to concepts.
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 07:56 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;166860 wrote:
4. Symbols, words and phrases obtain their meanings by referring to concepts.


Yes, but are these concepts not composed of language?
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:06 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;166870 wrote:
Yes, but are these concepts not composed of language?


No, for example, the concept of "above" is learned heuristically. You hear people use the word "above". You observe the context and results of the utterance and you abstract away from it meaning.

All your life you've heard things like, "the cookies are above the fridge", "the keys are hanging above the end table", "the sky is above the ground" and you've noticed the relationship between these things, the cookies and the fridge, the keys and the end table, the sky and the ground. You notice what they all have in common, their "aboveness" if you will. Eventually, all these different usages of "above" coalesce into a single concept.

Now, obviously you needed to know other words "cookie", "table", etc to get at the meaning of "above" but the meaning of "above" itself is not linguistic. It's comprised of all these different "above"s that you've filtered and processed into a single concept.
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:08 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;166848 wrote:
Verity on reality (using the humpty dumpty theory) would represent a principal that is truthful or relevant to reality. We can certainly stick with the proposed three, (I was unaware that it was regarding language as I simply clicked on the recent post link on the home menu)

Are you not certain on which theory holds correct?


"Verity on reality" is an English phrase? Maybe you mean just "true"? You think that a word means only what the person who used it intends it to mean? As Alice pointed out, that would imply that a word had an indefinite number of meanings. "How could a word mean so many things?".

Yes, my interest is in linguistic meaning. I leave other kinds of meaning to those who know what those other kinds mean.
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 08:45 am
@kennethamy,
Night Ripper;166873 wrote:
No, for example, the concept of "above" is learned heuristically. You hear people use the word "above". You observe the context and results of the utterance and you abstract away from it meaning.

All your life you've heard things like, "the cookies are above the fridge", "the keys are hanging above the end table", "the sky is above the ground" and you've noticed the relationship between these things, the cookies and the fridge, the keys and the end table, the sky and the ground. You notice what they all have in common, their "aboveness" if you will. Eventually, all these different usages of "above" coalesce into a single concept.

Now, obviously you needed to know other words "cookie", "table", etc to get at the meaning of "above" but the meaning of "above" itself is not linguistic. It's comprised of all these different "above"s that you've filtered and processed into a single concept.


You are correct. I am assuming then that by symbols you meant above as being represented by an upward arrow? Since not linguistic, how would such concepts be conceived by I child? would it really be as simple as visual image?

kennethamy;166876 wrote:
"Verity on reality" is an English phrase?.


My error, I would not know of it being an english phrase, I am no linguist ken, also english is not my first language.

kennethamy;166876 wrote:
think that a word means only what the person who used it intends it to mean? As Alice pointed out, that would imply that a word had an indefinite number of meanings. "How could a word mean so many things?".


How does a word have any meaning? It does so because an individual assigns it meaning, but now is there a law that puts limit on how many meanings one word can have?

kennethamy;166876 wrote:
, my interest is in linguistic meaning. I leave other kinds of meaning to those who know what those other kinds mean.


Have you even tried to figure out what those other kinds are?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 09:12 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;166897 wrote:


Have you even tried to figure out what those other kinds are?


1. "sign of" "Clouds mean rain."
2. "importance"."You mean more to me than anything in the world"
3. "intention" "Just what did you mean by smiling like that?"

There are a few more, think.
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 09:28 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166912 wrote:
1. "sign of" "Clouds mean rain."
2. "importance"."You mean more to me than anything in the world"
3. "intention" "Just what did you mean by smiling like that?"

There are a few more, think.


No, we are talking about meaning as in value and significance are we not?

If you cannot think of any, would you hesitate to say that meaning is no such thing?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 09:46 am
@Soul Brother,
Soul Brother;166919 wrote:
No, we are talking about meaning as in value and significance are we not?



I am not. I began by talking about linguistic meaning.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 11:05 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166810 wrote:
1. When I use a term it means only what I want it to mean (mean by it) "neither more nor less".
(The Humpty-Dumpty theory).

2. Terms have essential meanings so that it is possible for everyone to use a term wrongly. (For instance, the essential meaning of "philosopher" is "lover of wisdom" so even if everyone thinks that A. J. Ayer was a philosopher, but if Ayer was not a lover of wisdom, then Ayer was not a philosopher. (The Platonic theory of meaning)

3. "Words are a wise man's counters, but they are the money of fools" Thomas Hobbes.

You are talking about definitions rather than meanings, and to an essetial degree, if we do not define our words to serve our purpose we will be defined to serve the purpose of those who define our words...

Meaning is a quality apart from words, and it is all well and good to seek some objective meaning in words, but it is our meaning, the meaning of our lives that make words meaningful... In ther words, they are are but signs without significance, or worse, having only subjective meaning, and it is for tyranny and exploitation and injustice and slavery that words are so bastardized... We have no common language... We communicate with friends, and neighbors in one tongue and with strangers and enemies in another... What the rich say, and what government says is seldom believed, even when they say the truth... What the people say, they say to themselves because government is issolated and living in fear, giving the rabble what they think will quiet their murmers...You see, that the proper use of language is communication, and communication is truth, and for that, the definition of any particular word is inessential, because truth and communication are not a single event, but a way of life, and a life goal; is not one way, but is a form of relationship... So very often words can be given a temporary meaning without problem, but when government, and the wealthy debase the whole ability of the people to communicate in order to destroy the ability of the people to organize resistence, then they have made certain their own bloody ends... They do not govern, but deny government... They rule as every group or dictator, by a monopoly on intelligence, with propaganda instread of truth, with subtle twists of meaning, and with inuendo... You don't have to worry about most people unless they are lip syncing the blather of the powerful... Most people know things are not as they should be, and seek consolation as much as communication... I seek both, and understanding as well... I know when I am being lied to...I can see when a whole country is living a lie for there are many examples in history to compare to ours...
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 11:26 am
@kennethamy,
I think number 1 is clearly fatuous. Number 2 sounds ok at first, but when you try to be strict you end up cutting out meaning, like when you insist on a literal translation of something into english.

Number 3 is better:

Quote:
Words are wise men's counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever, if but a man.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 12:05 pm
@kennethamy,
http://www.russelldale.com/dissertation/TheTheoryofMeaning.pdf

according to one theory, meaning can be reduce to specker meaning, in turn can be explicated by propositional attitude notions.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2010 12:54 pm
@Fido,
Fido;166974 wrote:
You are talking about definitions rather than meanings,


No I'm not....................
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Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 03:04 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;166925 wrote:
I am not. I began by talking about linguistic meaning.


That is what I mean, we are talking about the meaning of value and significance that is assigned to language are we not? Not one of the following 3 propositions you put forth.

Originally Posted by kennethamy
1. "sign of" "Clouds mean rain."
2. "importance"."You mean more to me than anything in the world"
3. "intention" "Just what did you mean by smiling like that?"

Or are you actually suggesting that when we refer to linguistic meaning we are implying one of the above? I believe not.

So indeed we are (as I said) talking about meaning as in value and significance applied to linguistic communication.

No ken?
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 03:08 am
@kennethamy,
Sorry if it has been shed on.
Is not mean middle.
The ultimate average.
The most to the most.
Does not mean mean most middle, middle most mean?

It may be personal, but is not how we understand the person in personal the personal in the person by relevant, reliant, relativeness? Most middle?
(Not least edges?)
Meaning is meant to be understood, we don't understand meant without its meaning.
Do not things on the 'edges' have least meaning because they are less?
Do not things with less members mean less meaning?
It may not be meaningless but it is less meaning.
For the simple fact it means less to less meanings.
0 Replies
 
Soul Brother
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 03:08 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;166980 wrote:
I think number 1 is clearly fatuous. Number 2 sounds ok at first, but when you try to be strict you end up cutting out meaning, like when you insist on a literal translation of something into english.
Number 3 is better:


Fatuous it may be, but it is the only one relevant to the reality of linguistic meaning.

So you think that. "Words are a wise man's counters, but they are the money of fools" Is what linguistic meaning means?... Please explain.
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 May, 2010 03:13 am
@Soul Brother,
Try to mean this don't just miss it.
(The opposite of meaning is missing, meaning, meaning-less)

What is meaningful other than a meaning more full.
Which means its meaning means more?
Which means more means it.
Which means more means more it.
Which means more meaning means more it.
Which means more meaning means more meaning it.
(Which means more means its more meanings)
(Which means more means more meanings means more meaning)
(Which means more meanings mean more meanings means more meaning)

(someone had to try)

---------- Post added 05-23-2010 at 10:36 AM ----------

Meaning means all meaning.

Mean meaning all means.

Mean means all means.

Mean means all meaning.

Meaning means all means.

Meaning means all meaning.

(meanings are another thing?)
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