Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Print

Contents

Meaning and communication

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-U024-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-U024-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 16, 2019, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/meaning-and-communication/v-1

Article Summary

The two fundamental facts about language are that we use it to mean things and we use it to communicate. So the philosophy of language tries to explain what it is for words and sentences to mean things and also what it is for us to communicate by using them. Although it cannot be accidental that meaning and communication go together, it is quite easy to see them as fundamentally distinct. Thus on some accounts the meaning of sentences is conceived in terms of a ‘representative’ power whereby they stand for either aspects of the world or ideas in the mind and their use in communication is derived from this property: language serves as a vehicle for meaning, itself thought of in independent terms. An alternative approach seeks to link the two more closely, seeing representation as itself only possible through the use of terms of a common language, used in communication.

Print
Citing this article:
Blackburn, Simon. Meaning and communication, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-U024-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/meaning-and-communication/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Routledge.

Related Searches

Topics