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Semantics and understanding

1 comment

  1. mrbig

    In order to tackle the problem of meaning in general, we need to isolate some key concepts that philosophers use to isolate exactly what human (at least) understanding consists of. Philosophers make a distinction between epistemology (study of human knowledge) and linguistics (how symbols function as representations of other things like ideas or objects in the world).

    One way to describe this distinction is to say knowledge is internal and subjective while language is external and objective. This means that humans (as least) have an internal, subjective experience of the world that they take to be true. This experience cannot be objectified per se. Language, however, is open to anyone who can understand the symbols. So we’ll need to start our investigation drilling into belief and we’ll start our exploration of belief with a puzzle.