A preliminary general remark



In his analyses W. wishes to clarify “what meaning is”; to this end he starts out from a concept of meaning such as is used in our ordinary language in locutions like :”having the same meaning”, “changing its meaning”, “having several meaning” etc.

His investigations are directed against a series of theories that purport to give an explication and interpretation of this ordinary concept of meaning. His criticism is, therefore, not directed against theories that operate with a specially introduced concept of meaning that differs per definitionem from the ordinary concept (in other words not against e.g. Frege’s theory of meaning where “meaning” and “sense” differ and where “meaning” is defined in terms of  “object signified”, and where no explication of our ordinary language concept is intended).

Thus, W. always presupposes that the theories which he critically discusses use the word “meaning” in our ordinary language sense, in their assertion about meaning. On this presupposition is based his critique which amounts to the view that, although the theories concerned start from our ordinary concept of meaning, they do not suitably explain it.