Meaning, Use and Ostensive Definition in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations

Philosophical Investigations 37 (4):350-362 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the restricted claim in §43a of the Philosophical Investigations is that, for a large class of cases of word meanings, the meaning of a word is its use in the language. Although Wittgenstein does not provide any example of words having uses but no meaning as exceptions to the claim, he does hint at exceptions, which are names being defined, or explained, ostensively by pointing to their bearers, in §43b. Names in ostensive definitions, or explanations, are meaningful, but not being used, and are therefore exceptions to the claim that meaning is use

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Leo Cheung
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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References found in this work

Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
Philosophical Investigations, 4th edition (trans. Hacker and Schulte).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 2009 - Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by E. M. G., G. E. M. Anscombe, G. H. Translator: Anscombe von Wright & R. Rhees.

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