What Does the Appeal to Use Do for the Theory of Meaning?

  • Michael Dummett
Part of the Synthese Language Library book series (SLAP, volume 3)


Consider the following style of argument. What would one say, e.g., ‘Either he is your brother or he isn’t,’ for? Well, it is tantamount to saying, ‘There must be a definite answer: there are no two ways about it.’ We say this when someone is shilly-shallying, behaving as if it were no more right to say the one thing than the other: so the utterance of that instance of the law of excluded middle is an expression of the conviction that the sentence, ‘He is your brother,’ has a definite sense. That, therefore, is the meaning of the sentence, ‘Either he is your brother or he isn’t’: that is its use in the language.


Riemann Hypothesis Complex Sentence Linguistic Practice Deductive Argument Negative Argument 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Dummett
    • 1
  1. 1.All Souls CollegeOxfordUK

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