Open Texture

  • Avishai Margalit
Part of the Synthese Language Library book series (SLAP, volume 3)


The concept of open texture was invoked by Waismann to revoke verificationism.1 Empirical terms, so his argument goes, are essentially open-ended: no set of rules can determine their application for all possible situations. The reason is that we cannot envisage all possible states of affairs in which such application might take place. Thus, empirical sentences which employ such terms cannot be verified conclusively, and hence complete verifiability cannot be taken as an adequate criterion for meaningfulness.


Science Fiction Fairy Tale World Semantic Open Texture Athletic Contest 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    F. Waismann, “Verifiability,” in his How I See Philosophy, R. Harrand (ed.), London, 1968, pp. 39–66.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    No one defends complete verificationism nowadays.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    H.L. Rolston, “Wittgenstein’s Concept of Family Resemblance,” Unpubl. dins., Harvard University, 1971.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    G. Ryle, The Concept of Mind,Penguin Books, 1949 (esp. ch. 5).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    R. Carnap, “Testability and Meaning,” in: Readings in the Philosophy of Science, H. Feigl and M. Brodbeck (eds.), New York, 1953, pp. 47–92.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    I. Berlin, “Austin and the Early Beginnings of Oxford Philosophy,” in: Essays on J.L. Austin, Oxford, 1973, p. 11.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    H. Putnam, “What Theories Are Not,” in: Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, E. Nagel, P. Suppes and A. Tarski (eds.), Stanford, California, 1962, pp. 240–251.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    W.V. Quine, Word and Object, Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T., 1960, p. 15.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    J.A. Fodor, “On Knowing What We Would Say,” in: Readings in the Philosophy of Language, J.F. Rosenberg and C. Travis (eds.), Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1971, p. 133.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    J.A. Fodor and J.J. Katz, “Introduction,” The Structure of Language, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1964, p. 15; H. Putnam, “Minds and Machines,” in: Minds and Machines, A.R. Anderson (ed.), Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1964, pp. 88–94.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Philosophical Investigation,tr. by G.E.M. Anscombe, Oxford, 1953, § 68.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Zettel, G.E.M. Anscombe and G.H. von Wright (eds.), Oxford, 1967, § 350.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book 3, Ch. 6, § 27.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Zettel, § 120.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    R. Carnap, “Meaning and Synonymy in Natural Languages,” in his Meaning and Necessity, 2nd ed., Chicago, 1956, pp. 233–247.Google Scholar
  16. 20.
    N. Chomsky, Reflections on Language, New York, 1975, p. 48.Google Scholar
  17. 21.
    I. Lakatos, “Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes,” in: Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Cambridge, 1970, pp. 130–137.Google Scholar
  18. 22.
    H. Putnam, “The Meaning of Meaning,’ ” in his Mind, Language and Reality, Cambridge University Press, 1975.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avishai Margalit
    • 1
  1. 1.The Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations