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Title: Meaning, Use, and Diagrams
Authors: Macbeth, Danielle
Keywords: PeirceFregeSellarsBrandom
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Danielle Macbeth, "Meaning, Use, and Diagrams", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XI (2009) 1, pp. 369-384.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XI (2009) 1
My starting point is two themes from Peirce: his familiar pragmatist conception of meaning
focused on what follows from an application of a term rather than on what is the case if it is
correctly applied, and his less familiar and rather startling claim that even purely
deductive, logical reasoning is not merely formal but instead constructive or diagrammatic
— and hence experimental, and fallible. My aim is to show, using Frege’s two-dimensional
logical language as a paradigm of a “constructive” logic in Peirce’s sense, that taking this
second theme into account in one’s interpretation of the first yield a very different, and
arguably more fruitful, conception of meaning than is usually ascribed to Peirce, not only a
different conception of the role of inference in meaning than is found in, say, Brandom
following Sellars, but also a very different understanding of the role of pragmatics in
semantics than is standard in social practice theories.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2009) XI/1

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