Meanings and Processes

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In this paper, I present a conception of meaning in natural language that I call the ‘process model’. According to this conception, meaning must be regarded as the result of a process of interaction in a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. Drawing on this understanding, I argue that the study of meaning should no longer focus on logical analysis, but rather on an empirical perspective similar to the one in the other social sciences. I briefly compare this view with semantic Platonism, as well as with Wittgenstein’s and Quine’s approaches to meaning. Finally, I outline a way in which this approach could be applied to two current problems in the philosophy of language: the treatment of linguistic vagueness and the definition of truth. The treatment of all these questions is very cursory, as a sort of travel guide for a future more detailed research.
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Archival date: 2016-09-07
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