Ideas from 'On the Pragmatics of Communications' by Jürgen Habermas [1998], by Theme Structure

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand this idea

19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use
To understand language is to know how to use it to reach shared understandings
                        Full Idea: One simply would not know what it is to understand the meaning of a linguistic expression if one did not know how one could make use of it in order to reach understanding with someone about something.
                        From: Jürgen Habermas (On the Pragmatics of Communications [1998], p.228), quoted by James Gordon Finlayson - Habermas Ch.3:34
                        A reaction: Not offered as a 'theory of meaning', and certainly plausible. Compare a hammer, though: a proper understanding is that it is used to exert a sharp force, but you can take in its structure and nature before you spot its usage.