more from William Lycan

Single Idea 7764

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

Full Idea

Could I not know the use of an expression and fall in with it, mechanically, but without understanding it?

Gist of Idea

Could I successfully use an expression, without actually understanding it?


William Lycan (Philosophy of Language [2000], Ch. 6)

Book Reference

Lycan,William G.: 'Philosophy of Language' [Routledge 2000], p.94

A Reaction

In a foreign country, you might successfully recite a long complex sentence, without understanding a single word. This doesn't doom the 'use' theory, but it means that quite a lot of detail needs to be filled in.