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on 7 May 1999
Eminently readable, Horwich presents his latest thoughts on the concept of meaning in lucid and engaging style. Nicely produced by Oxford, the book will appeal to anyone interested in the philosophy of language, from about level 3 up.
However, if you're expecting to find a vindication of Wittgenstein's remarks on meaning you'll be disappointed. Horwich takes on board the idea that explanation is fundamental to the concept of meaning, but overplays Wittgenstein's idea that questions of meaning can (sometimes)be answered by looking at the way a word or phrase is used. Horwich tries to explicate the concept of meaning, and answer Quine's demand for 'criteria of identity' for meanings, by appealing to regularities of use and 'acceptance properties'. While traditional Wittgensteinians will see Horwich's theory as compounding the mistakes of modern semantic theories, Horwich makes no claims to Wittgenstein's philosophy and provides some excellent arguments against those theories currently in vogue with philosophers.
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