Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Meaning, the Concept of

  • Anders Kraal
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1541

Related Terms


The concept of (linguistic) meaning has attracted an enormous amount of attention in contemporary philosophy. In order to clarify this concept, philosophers have proposed so-called theories of meaning. Theories of meaning can be understood as explanatory accounts of what has been variously described as “how meaning arises,” “wherein meaning consists,” “how meaning is determined,” and suchlike. The value of a correct theory of meaning has, by some theorists, been taken to consist simply in its contribution to an understanding of the workings of human language, but has, by other theorists, also been taken to consist in its potential for clarifying important philosophical problems, for example, by providing a means for distinguishing between words and sentences that have real or genuine meaning and words and sentences that do not have real or genuine meaning but are, in effect,...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada