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The Meaning of Words: The Meaning of Words

A small description about "The meaning of words" for TOK.

Yang Mercy

on 16 March 2014

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Transcript of The Meaning of Words: The Meaning of Words

What does it all Mean?
The Meaning of Words
"How can a word—a noise or a set of marks on paper—mean something?"
(Nagel, 1987)
Words like "bang" and
"whisper" have no meaning.
(Nagel, 1987)
Why, though?
"There are many types of words: some of them name of people or things..."
(Nagel, 1987)
"In fact all words do their real work in this way: their meaning is really something they contribute to the meaning of sentences or statements."
(Nagel, 1987)
Most terms can be defined
(Nagel, 1987)
"But definitions can't be the basis of meaning for all words, or we'd go forever in a circle."
(Nagel, 1987)
Let's think about the word "tobacco".
(Nagel, 1987)
"The word as you use it has somethings behind it—a concept or idea or thought—which somehow reaches out to all the...universe."
(Nagel, 1987)
Words, technically, have to have actual meanings.
The use of language for larger purposes may shows us something about "what is going on when we use it on a smaller scale."
(Nagel, 1987)
How do we, with our experiences, interpret one word in so many ways
(Nagel, 1987)
"Relations between the word and the idea and between the idea and the stuff"
(Nagel, 1987)
Why do we all form such a particular image of words?
People of different culture with different languages can interpret different meanings.
Think about...
"How does anything we say or write mean anything—including all the words in this book?"
(Nagel, 1987)
Presented by
Mercy Yang & China Austin
Nagel, T. (1987). What
does it all mean?
Full transcript