Meaning is one of our most central and most ubiquitous concepts. Anything at all may, in suitable contexts, have meaning ascribed to it. In this wide-ranging book, David Cooper departs from the usual focus on linguistic meaning to discuss how works of art, ceremony, social action, bodily gesture, and the purpose of life can all be meaningful. He argues that the notion of meaning is best approached by considering what we accept as explanations of meaning in everyday practice and shows that in these situations we are explaining the appropriate fit of an item - whether a word or an artwork - with something larger than or outside of itself. This fuller account of meaning explores questions of the meaning of meaning and tackles issues such as whether meaning is just a misleading 'folk' term for something more basic, whether there really is meaning at all, and whether we should strive for meaning or let our lives 'just be' rather than mean. By taking the problem of meaning out of the technical philosophy of language and providing a more general account, Cooper is able to offer new insights into the import, function, and status of meaning that will be of interest not only to philosophers of language but to students and philosophers working in areas such as epistemology and metaphysics.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Knowledge meaning and world
4 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
account of meaning analogy anti-realism anti-realist appropriateness argued argument artworks assertions Chapter claim communicate conception of meaning conceptual scheme concern connection context contribution critics cultural cultural relativism dance notation Derrida Dilthey domain enquiry example explanations of meaning expression fact gestures Heidegger hermeneutics Horwich human idea indicate intended invoke issues Kikuyu language language-games Life-world Life's meaning linguistic items linguistic meaning meaning of meaning meaning-indicators meaning-scepticism meaningful items means that snow metaphor natural non-linguistic normative notion of meaning objection painting phenomenologists philosophical practice prioritize purpose question reach of meaning reason relevance remark Roland Barthes role rules Saul Kripke sceptic semantic sense sentence means significance simply Snow is white social someone speak speakers speech statements talk of meaning Theorists Theory of Meaning things thought tion translation true truth truth-centred truth-conditions understanding utterances W. V. Quine Wittgenstein word meaning Zhuang Zi