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The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

The Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School

Cogitamus

What is the meaning of a word?

 What is the meaning of a word?
Let us attack this question by asking, first, what is an explanation of the meaning of a word; what does the explanation of a word look like?

This is the question Wittgenstein asked in the Blue and Brown Books ( a collection of lecture notes ) which reveal his thinking about the nature of language and how it relates to our understanding of the world. This week  Cogitamus explored the limits of verbal definitions of meaning ( simply leading to more words ) and the limits and ambiguity of ostensive definitions ( can't point to 'justice' and if we point to a pencil, how does the other know one is not pointing out colour, wood and so on? ). The opening few lines of Wittgenstein's text certainly produced the sort of 'mental cramps' he predicts, but it was an enjoyable and lively discussion, nonetheless.

Cogitamus meets every Friday lunchtime. All welcome.