Tag Archives: Philosophy of Language

The Myth of Definitions

I am writing this post  because I see many debates centered on differences in definitions.  Some people approach their word-impasses  by mistakenly trying to debate the “real” definition of the word.  But words don’t have “real” definitions.  It is in this sense that “definitions” are a myth.  It is surprising how a misunderstanding of the nature of words and language unnecessarily fuels many heated debates.

Words don’t possess definitions–particular people give words definitions.  Sure, you can grab a dictionary, and say “Look, here are the definitions”.  OK, you are right.  In that sense, words have definitions but using the same method we can also show that Santa has a big white beard by opening a book and pointing at the chap’s face. Continue reading

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