Against a Theory of Meaning

Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 73, 1995

7 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2014

See all articles by Dennis Patterson

Dennis Patterson

Rutgers University School of Law, Camden; University of Surrey - School of Law

Date Written: November 2, 2014

Abstract

A language is not something about which one can have a theory. Nor is a language itself a theory. Quantum mechanics and historical materialism are theories. Each is formulated in a language in terms of laws and explanatory principles. Thus, to construct a theory, one must already have mastered a language. A fortiori, it is implausible to speak -- as Chomsky does -- of children learning their native language by constructing theories of grammar.

Suggested Citation

Patterson, Dennis, Against a Theory of Meaning (November 2, 2014). Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 73, 1995, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518178 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2518178

Dennis Patterson (Contact Author)

Rutgers University School of Law, Camden ( email )

Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6369 (Phone)
856-751-8752 (Fax)

University of Surrey - School of Law ( email )

United Kingdom

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