is there no such thing as meaning, Dr. Quine?

…so the basic idea in semiotic circles out there is that there is no such thing as meaning.   They intend to say that words do not have meaning per se.  Meaning is a convention we accept in the cultural form of language. Primarily, though, it is a convention. It is easily noticed when language receives input from oppressed social groups that need protection in communication. For example, “bad” gained the meaning of good; “fuzz” means police; and there is the endless litany of words used for aspects of taboo — yes, sex-related among other things. So, it’s not the word that holds the meaning.  It’s the icon formed by exposure, accommodated by experience uniting context, content, and symbol.  Nonetheless, to Dr. Quine, the man who threw it out there about meaning and convention, thank you.


About vera dumont

Eternal philosophy student
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