|To mean, intending, philosophy: the intention of a speaker to refer to an object, a property of an object or a situation by means of her words, gestures or actions in a manner which is recognizable for others. From what is meant together with the situation, listeners should be able to recognize the meaning of the characters used.|
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To mean/meaning/Cavell: There is a difference between the meaning of the words we use and what we mean when we give them a voice.
Thesis: Our ability to mean what we say is dependent on two characteristics of our situation:
1. from the everydayness, the ordinariness of the resources at our disposal.
2. from the fact that we are the ones that access these resources.
We sometimes achieve or sometimes we do not achieve to mean what we say with our words!
Cavell II St. Cavell Müssen wir meinen was wir sagen? aus Grewendorf/Meggle Linguistik und Phil. Frankfurt (Athenäum) 1974/1995
Cavell thesis: what we usually say and mean can have a direct and profound control over what we can say and mean in the philosophical sense.
To mean/must/Cavell: this is not about reproducing the meaning as what you "must mean".
Intension is not a substitute for intention.
Cavell Thesis: Still, if we say "we must something", we imply that we are convinced of it, although it is not analytically, it is necessarily true!
Truth/Necessity/Cavell: if truth (with Aristotle) means:
From what it is to say that it is,
Then necessary truth is
From what is, to say what it is. ((s) How it is done).
But it is a profound prejudice to mean that it was a matter of content. It does not apply to all statements, but to those who are concerned with actions, and therefore have a rule description complementarity.
Necessity/Language/Cavell: 1. it is perfectly correct that the German language could have developed differently.
2. There is no way out when you say "I can say what I want, I do not always have to use the normal forms".
You do not want to argue that you can talk without the language providing the possibility for this?
E.g. A baker could use "voluntarily" and "automatically" synonymously.
If it then follows that the professor does not understand the baker, then the professor would not understand another professor any more!
Method/Mates: Grewendorf/Meggle S 160): two methods:
1. Extensional: one brings out the meaning of a word by finding out what it has in common with other cases of its use.
2. Intensive method: one asks the person concerned what he means.
Language/Cavell: it is not the case that we always know only by empirical investigations what words mean. We could not then come to generalizations.
For example, half of the population could use "voluntarily" and "automatically" without any difference, but it does not show that the two are synonymous, but that both apply to the action of the person in question!
It may be that the baker even insists that the two words mean the same.
One could then argue: "You can say it, but you cannot mean it!" "You cannot mean what you would mean if you had chosen the other wording."
Why is the baker not entitled to his argument then?
To a philosopher we would say in this situation (> Humpty Dumpty):
1. That he limits his expressive possibilities.
2. That he has a shortened theory of what it means to do something.
Likewise, the philosopher who asks in everything: "analytical or synthetic?" has a shortened concept of communication.
Language/Cavell: The error is based on the assumption that the normal use of a word represents a function of the internal state of the speaker.
To mean/Cavell: the false assumption that a statement about what we mean is synthetic comes from the fact that we believe that it describes the mental processes of a speaker.
In reality, it is about the use of language.
For example, to a child, we might say, "You do not know, you believe it". The child learns the word usage.
To mean/Cavell: there is no such activity as finding out what I mean with a word.
But there is a finding out what a word means.
Die Unheimlichkeit des Gewöhnlichen Frankfurt 2002