Meaning and Actions

  • Gaetano Fiorin
  • Denis Delfitto
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 25)


In this chapter, we discuss the thesis of meaning as use and, more generally, the understanding of language as behavior that is often associated to Wittgenstein’s claims in his Philosophical Investigations. The thesis of language as use rejects the idea the language should be understood as a symbolic system of reference in favor of the idea that language must be understood in terms of the effects it produces in the here and now of its actual use. We discuss some advantages and shortcomings of the view and, in particular, the incorrect view of language learning that it entails. We conclude by briefly illustrating the so-called community view of language.


Private language argument Language as use Community view Language learning Language acquisition 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaetano Fiorin
    • 1
  • Denis Delfitto
    • 2
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of VeronaVeronaItaly

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