• creativesoul
    6k
    We use language for many things. It is a tool. All tools are extensions of ourselves in some perfectly sensible, and thus rightfully applicable, manner. A hammer becomes an extension of the user's arm, as does the saw. The saw is used as a means to cut things into smaller pieces. The hammer is used to drive nails. The pen can do all of the above.

    A pen without thought/belief has no user. It's just a pen.

    The meaning of the pen is always determined by the connections drawn between it and something else. The meaning of the X, follows the above. Always. I've let X be "the pen". Let X be whatever you like.

    The pen shares one's own thought/belief. All thought/belief is meaningful. The pen shares one's own meaning. This sharing of meaning comes in the form of thought/belief statements. However, what is attempted to be shared is not always well-received. Sometimes the listener draws correlations between the language use and something else... something other than the speaker. That is case of misattributing meaning.

    The pen is a tool that is used for all sorts of things. Sometimes it's use results in mistakes that the user is completely and totally unaware of.

    What are the grounds upon which one denies that meaning is the sort of thing that can be shared?

    A composite is a thing.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    The pen can do all of the above.creativesoul

    Huh? What do you mean? Serious question.

    In my view, the word “pen” has meaning. It refers to a writing utensil with ink. A picture of a pen can also have meaning. It refers to that particular writing utensil in the picture. The picture may also have private meaning in that it may call up all kinds of associative thoughts. A physical pen has no meaning on its own. Have you ever asked, “What does this pen mean?”
  • creativesoul
    6k
    So if there is some "external" thing being 'shared' then why isn't it preserved through translation.Isaac

    Meaning is not properly accounted for in such terms. There are external things that become both sign and symbol. There are external things that become significant, symbolic and/or symbolized. There are also internal things that become so. All things that become sign, symbol, significant, symbolized, and/or symbolic exist in their entirety prior to becoming a part of the meaningful correlation drawn between different things; prior to their being a part of the correlation itself.


    I'd say it's more like a process, than an extant thing.

    I would concur that the attribution of meaning is a process.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    The pen can do all of the above.
    — creativesoul

    Huh? What do you mean? Serious question.
    Noah Te Stroete

    Rhetorically, metaphorically, allegorically, etc...

    We are talking about meaning here.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I must be thick because I still don’t know what you are talking about. You said that the saw can cut things and that the hammer can drive nails. Then you said that the pen can do all of these things. I’m sure that’s not what you meant.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Two participants are having an online debate. The loser doesn't know that s/he has pulled the shortest straw. They're on the short end of the stick. The future does not seem too promising. S/he has no clue. The winner could put forth a well-crafted argument grounded upon common sense understanding and nail the coffin shut right after cutting the loser off at the knees by showing that their position was based upon false ground.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Not all meaning is literal.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I was just going to say that I finally got your meaning before you posted that. I’m not good with mixing poetic language with analytic philosophy. I like to keep them separate. What are your thoughts on my view of meaning?
  • creativesoul
    6k


    Sorry Noah, I'm not familiar with it. Got a rough outline?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Meaning is what symbolism refers to.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    I’m not good with mixing poetic language with analytic philosophy. I like to keep them separate.Noah Te Stroete

    When doing analytic philosophy, it is always good to avoid metaphor whenever and wherever possible. As long as one can still convey one's meaning.

    Poetry operates by virtue of the same internal mechanisms at work. All attribution of meaning consists of the very same three necessary elemental constituents... poetic meaning notwithstanding.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Meaning is what symbolism refers to.Noah Te Stroete

    Is symbolism a name?
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Conventional theories of meaning presuppose symbolism.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I suppose I meant to say “symbols”, not “symbolism”. Speech words, written words, linguistic thoughts and thought images, actual images, literal symbols, signs, etc. What these things refer to are their meanings. Physical objects, a rock for example, has no meaning on its own.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    I suppose I meant to say “symbols”, not “symbolism”. Speech words, written words, linguistic thoughts and thought images, actual images, literal symbols, signs, etc. What these things refer to are their meanings. Physical objects, a rock for example, has no meaning on its own.Noah Te Stroete

    Not all symbols refer.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Are you referring to dead languages?
  • creativesoul
    6k
    I'm referring to the fact that not all speech words, written words, linguistic thoughts and thought images, actual images, literal symbols, signs, etc....

    None of those always refers. There are other times when they all do.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Repeating yourself doesn’t help me without giving examples.
  • creativesoul
    6k


    I'm unsure what to do to help.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Give an example when the word “pen” has no meaning.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Whenever it is not part of a correlation drawn between it and something other than it.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    No. It always has meaning. One may just not know the meaning. That’s when they need to be educated.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    You seem to be confusing private meaning with shared/conventional meaning.
  • Banno
    5.7k
    Meaning isn't use. But just about any question we might have regarding meaning can be answered by talking instead about use. And that just about is only there to cover the unknown...

    Share... Like a pizza? Or like a house? Or like Brexit? Or like an investment? Or like a story?
  • creativesoul
    6k


    Like one's thought/belief about the world and/or one's self.
  • creativesoul
    6k


    My position adequately accounts for both.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Language use is existentially dependent upon shared meaning.
  • creativesoul
    6k


    Bald assertions do not garner much warrant when they conflict with sound argument/reasoning.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    when they conflict with sound argument/reasoning.creativesoul

    I’m sorry. Where can I find that?
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    Yelling "slab" may get a house built, but it could just be that in the context of a construction site, it was sufficient for the yeller to mean "hand me what is next on the pile" and the receiver to have understood the word to mean "hand me the hard rock thing cut into a manageable shape."xzJoel

    Well yes, if the pile was arranged right, one could manage with a single word that I would prefer to translate as "next". But that is another story. I'm referring to W's story in which there are words for slab and block used to identify 'what's next'. We discover the meaning by seeing the use they are put to, which is to coordinate action. We see that the meaning is shared by observing that the assistant presents and the builder is satisfied with what is presented in harmony with the word use. If there was a misunderstanding, or a mis hearing, one would see the disharmony that resulted as slab was thrown back at the assistant , along with some remonstration. Compare this with the use of a sea shanty to coordinate action rhythmically - the meaning is reduced to a series of 'nows', or 'heaves'.
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