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Können Zwecke als Grundlage für eine Bedeutungstheorie dienen?

Wittgenstein über sprachliche Zwecke und den Zweck der Sprache

Florian Franken Figueiredo

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss whether the view that understanding is the ability to relate the use of an expression to a certain purpose leads to a theory of meaning as usage. In particular, I investigate the view that a theory of meaning relies on the assumption that use is related to immanent purposes of language. I inquire whether it is possible to identify those purposes that seem essential for the use of language. Interpreting Wittgenstein, I argue that this idea relies on a misunderstanding between purposes and effects. Single purposes are not to be conceived of as essential for the use of language. However, if we want to speak of an essential purpose of language, I argue, this purpose is to be conceived of as an end in itself. I draw the conclusion that the use of language is an end in itself rather than a means that fulfils essential purposes.

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Published Online: 2019-12-10
Published in Print: 2019-12-02

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