Single Idea 8356

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use]

Full Idea

To give the meaning of an expression is to give general directions for its use to refer to or mention particular objects or persons; in like manner, sentences are for use to make true or false assertions.

Gist of Idea

The meaning of an expression or sentence is general directions for its use, to refer or to assert


Peter F. Strawson (On Referring [1950], 2)

Book Reference

'The Theory of Meaning', ed/tr. Parkinson,G.H.R. [OUP 1978], p.68

A Reaction

The influence of Wittgenstein? I don't like it. The general idea that you can say what something is by giving directions for its use is what I think of as the Functional Fallacy: confusing the role of x with its inherent nature. Shirt as goalpost.