more from Michael Williams

Single Idea 3588

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / a. Sentence meaning]

Full Idea

In the foundationalist picture the meaning of individual words (defined ostensively) is primary, and that of sentences is derivative. For coherentists sentences come first, with meaning understood functionally or inferentially.

Gist of Idea

Foundationalists base meaning in words, coherentists base it in sentences


Michael Williams (Problems of Knowledge [2001], Ch.10)

Book Reference

Williams,Michael: 'Problems of Knowledge' [OUP 2001], p.124

A Reaction

Coherentism about language doesn't imply coherentism about justification. On language I vote for foundationalism, because I am impressed by the phenomenon of compositionality.