Inherent Meaning

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Bowser, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I did write about "a bat". That might be a flying mammal (not a rodent) or it might be something else. You don't automatically know which I meant because the word has no fixed inherent meaning.
     
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  3. Throbber Registered Senior Member

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    I'm sorry for assuming which. But you had something in your mind.
     
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I may have had something on my mind but you don't know what. Words are for communication. If what's on my mind isn't being communicated to you by a word then that word can not have an inherent meaning.
     
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  7. Throbber Registered Senior Member

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    But it has a translation?
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know what you think translation has to do with it. It seems to me that that weakens your case even more. If somebody doesn't know which kind of bat I mean, how can he translate it accurately?
     
  9. Throbber Registered Senior Member

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    But YOU know!
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Since he chose it, and we don't know what he chose, it's not inherent.

    You're just yankin' our chain now.
     
  11. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    What I know is not inherent in the word. For example, I could be wrong about the definition of the word, or I could have my own personal definition of the word. When I say "bat", I might mean "chocolate-chip muffin". Unless you can tell from the word itself what I mean - and you can't - it has no inherent meaning.
     
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  12. river

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    Yet when one refers to a bat , I refer to an animal that flies , eats insects and lives in caves .
     
  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    That may be what you mean. How do you know what I mean?
     
  14. river

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    What you mean is up to you , but you do what I mean .
     
  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    What I mean is up to me and what you mean is up to you. Therefore, there is no inherent meaning. The meaning depends on the person and on the context. The word itself has no meaning except the meaning that we give it on a particular occasion.
     
  16. river

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    True

    But once discussed , the word becomes defined , and can not be confused with any other definition .
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    The example I'm using - bat - has two definitions (at least). The word itself does not tell you which meaning is intended in the current situation. Hence, no inherent meaning.
     
  18. river

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    Fair enough
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I once bought my infant nephew a batmobile.

    But when I tried to hang it over his crib I realized one of them was still alive.
     
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  20. river

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    As you should , otherwise you are in trouble .
     
  21. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    bark, bark, bark! The tree has no bark.
     
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  22. river

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    Space is space , no connotations here
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There's lots of space on this screen for text.
     

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