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19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / a. Sentence meaning

[whole sentences are the main units of meaning]

11 ideas
A sentence always has signification, but a word by itself never does [Zeno of Citium, by Diog. Laertius]
Leibniz was the first modern to focus on sentence-sized units (where empiricists preferred word-size) [Leibniz, by Hart,WD]
Words in isolation seem to have ideas as meanings, but words have meaning in propositions [Frege]
Never ask for the meaning of a word in isolation, but only in the context of a proposition [Frege]
We understand new propositions by constructing their sense from the words [Frege]
Words function only in propositions, like levers in a machine [Wittgenstein]
Taking sentences as the unit of meaning makes useful paraphrasing possible [Quine]
Knowing a word is knowing the meanings of sentences which contain it [Quine]
Sentences are the primary semantic units, because they can say something [Dummett]
We recognise sentences at once as linguistic units; we then figure out their parts [Davidson]
Foundationalists base meaning in words, coherentists base it in sentences [Williams,M]