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Information Journal Paper

Title

WHAT'S BEHIND MEANING?

Writers

PERUZZI ALBERTO

Pages

 Start Page 119 | End Page 145

Abstract

 The paper addresses the main questions to be dealt with by any semantic theory which is committed to provide an explanation of how meaning is possible. On one side the paper argues that the resources provided by the development of mathematical logic, theoretical computer science, cognitive psychology, and general linguistics in the 20th Century, however indispensable to investigate the structure of language, rely on the existence of end products in the morphogenesis of meaning. On the other, the paper argues that philosophy of language, which, either in the analytic or the structuralist or the hermeneutical tradition, made little use of such resources (when they are not simply rejected). Left the main question unanswered. Though PHENOMENOLOGY intended to focus on the constitutive process, it ended up mostly with philology. COGNITIVE SEMANTICS paved the way to focus on patterns of bodily interaction within the natural environment out of which basic schemes emerge and are metaphorically "lifted" to any universe of discourse. The explanatory commitment is thus endorsed through two hypotheses: (1) these schemes, of topological and kinaesthetic structure, determine the range of forms of atomic sentences of any natural language, and (2) the category-theoretic notion of universality allows for a proper analysis of how such schemes are "lifted".

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