Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Use theory, philosophy of language: the term was formed following a thesis of L. Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations, § 43. (Original in German) You can explain the use of the word "meaning" for a large class of cases - though not in all cases of its use - as the meaning of a word is its use in the language." - This thesis applies to words and cannot be extended to whole sentences. See also use, word meaning, sentence meaning, language acquisition, meaning theory, reference.
 
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Dummett, Michael
 
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Use Theory I 31
DummettVsuse theory: The disadvantage is that this is substantially non-systematic. According to Wittgenstein, however, it is an advantage, because he emphasizes the variety of speech acts. Dummett: orderliness but is not everything. The use theory is likely to assume that a significant part of the language is already understood.
I 31
Use gives meaning - sence gives reference (Frege) - meaning not the same as reference: Unicorn
Use theory of meaning >speech act theory.
I 29
Use/Truth/Wittgenstein/Dummett: use theory makes the concept of truth superfluous >meaning before truth
III 10
Use theory/Dummett: Circumstances not sufficient - we need the purpose of why we use a word - even with classification valid/invalid always of interest (purpose).
III 196
Use theory/Dummett: sentences, not words have use.
III 200
E.g. use of money: here one must understand the whole institution.
I Schiffer 223f
Use theory/Understanding/Meaning/Manifestation/Dummett/SchifferVsDummett: behavioristically - (also othersVsDummett) - from it does not follow anti-realism - Dummett himself uses psychological vocabulary - why should one have to be able to show understanding? - Own use should be sufficient.
I 225
McDowellVsDummett: Martians still cannot understand us, because the intentional (content-determining) cannot be reduced to the non-intentional.
I 227
Knowing whether something counts as verification, could depend on extra-linguistic knowledge and not on the understanding of the sentence - QuineVsDummett: direct Verific. cond. cannot exist for every sentence - ((s)> Quine: ~ theories are not verifiable sentence by sentence) - Sure there are meaningful sentences that have no discernible conditions which would prove the sentence to be true or false.
I 228
Pain/Verification/Wittgenstein/Dummett/Schiffer: Dummett cites Wittgenstein with consent: that pain behavior can be refuted - SchifferVsDummett: then the meaning theory needs both contestable criteria and contestable conditions - problem: this is true for most empirical judgments.

Du I
M. Dummett
Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992

Du III
M. Dummett
Wahrheit Stuttgart 1982


> Counter arguments against Dummett
> Counter arguments in relation to Use Theory



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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-03-28