more from Johann Gottfried Herder

Single Idea 20949

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use]

Full Idea

Not how an expression can be etymologically derived and determined analytically, but how it is used is the question. Origin and use are often very different.

Gist of Idea

Study the use of words, not their origins


Johann Gottfried Herder (works [1784], p.153), quoted by Andrew Bowie - Introduction to German Philosophy 2 'Herder'

Book Reference

Bowie,Andrew: 'Introduction to German Philosophy' [Polity 2003], p.53

A Reaction

This doesn't quite say that meaning is use, and is basically an attack on the Etymological Fallacy (that origin gives meaning), but it is a strikingly modern view of language.