Meaning and Ideas
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In this chapter, we discuss the possibility of accounting for the abstract dimension of linguistic meaning in the framework of Platonic idealism—the thesis that the external world encompasses an abstract dimension beyond its material one. We discuss how such a framework can be applied and, in fact, has been applied to natural language but we also discuss the epistemological challenge it meets. If linguistic meaning is an abstract object of a platonic sort, how can it play such a significant role in the cognitive lives of its users?