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Single Idea 21560

[catalogued under 2. Reason / D. Definition / 7. Contextual Definition]

Full Idea

Any sentence, a single word, or a single component phrase, may often be quite devoid of meaning when separated from its context.

Gist of Idea

Any linguistic expression may lack meaning when taken out of context


Bertrand Russell (Substitutional Classes and Relations [1906], p.165)

A Reaction

Contextualism is now extremely fashionable, in philosophy of language and in epistemology. Here Russell is looking for a contextual way to define classes [so says Lackey, the editor].

Book Reference

Russell,Bertrand: 'Essays in Analysis', ed/tr. Lackey,Douglas [George Braziller 1973], p.165