more from Richard Cartwright

Single Idea 13950

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 1. Meaning]

Full Idea

No one ever asserts the meaning of the words he utters.

Gist of Idea

People don't assert the meaning of the words they utter


Richard Cartwright (Propositions [1962], 12)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Richard: 'Philosophical Essays' [MIT 1987], p.49

A Reaction

Cartwright is using this point to drive a wedge between sentence meaning and the assertion made by the utterance. Hence he defends propositions. Presumably people utilise word-meanings, rather than asserting them. Meanings (not words) are tools.

Related Idea

Idea 13951 Assertions, unlike sentence meanings, can be accurate, probable, exaggerated, false.... [Cartwright,R]