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(294 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang
[German Version] Many are the meanings of the words “meaning” and “ significance.” Since the beginnings of Greek philosophy, special significance (importance) has been attached to the use of the word significance, which is concerned with the use of signs, especially linguistic signs, as bearers of significance or meaning. Augustine of Hippo distinguishes between signa naturalia and signa data: natural signs signify what they are signs of by virtue of a causal nexus (certain spots signify measles); “given” or conventional signs signify something because…


(1,063 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Großhans, Hans-Peter
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Fundamental Theology I. Philosophy An object (Ger. Gegenstand) is anything to which a predicate can be applied, or to which identificatory reference can be made by way of a proper name, designation, or deictic expression, hence anything with regard to which statements can be made and judgments can be passed. (“Individual,” “entity,” or “object” [Ger. Objekt] are frequently employed in this sense in analytic philosophy.) In the eyes of some philosophers, this understanding of the conception of object is broader than the ¶…


(1,158 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Petzoldt, Matthias
[German Version] I. Philosophy Thinking is a ramified concept. A survey of the phenomena of thinking must register several distinctions. (a) Thinking may be propositional (“X thinks that p”) or nominal (“X thinks of Y ”). (b) Propositional thinking is sometimes a state in which a thinker can be even when in a dreamless sleep (“X thinks that p” in the sense of “X believes that p.”) (c) Sometimes, however, propositional thinking is episodic – either (α) an activity one can be ¶ prompted to engage in: “Think about it” or (β) an experience: “At that moment, X had the thought that p go th…

Extension and Intension

(174 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang
[German Version] Picking up on G. Frege's distinction between significance and meaning, R. Carnap articulated the distinction between extension and intension for the philosophy of language, which is of similar importance. He asserted that two singular terms have precisely the same extension when they refer to the same object (“evening star,” “morning star”…


(3,343 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Certainty may be either objective or subjective (Goclenius: certitudo rei cognitae or certitudo hominis cognoscentis). Objective certainty is expressed by “It is certain that p,” subjective certainty by “The epistemic subject S is certain that p.” Objective and subjective certainty are logically independent: one can be certain that p although it is not certain that p; and it can be certain th…


(2,828 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Sarot, Marcel | Huxel, Kirsten | Siemann, Jutta
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Fundamental Theology – IV. Ethics – V. Practical Theology I. Philosophy To speak of the meaning of a linguistic utterance is ambiguous from a systematic point of view. The various ¶ semantic concepts correspond to various levels of understanding (comprehension of meaning). The first three levels belong to the field of semantics: (1) If the spoken sentence P is free of lexical and grammatical ambiguities in the language of the speaker, then the interpreter understand…


(2,027 words)

Author(s): Stoellger, Philipp | Künne, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Linguistics and Literary Studies The problem of the meaning and significance of expressions, linguistic signs, and words has arisen explicitly every time the topic of language has been addressed, at least since the time of Socrates and the Sophistic school (Plato, Cratylus). In antiquity there was still ¶ debate over whether signs had their meaning “by nature” or “by convention”; today it is generally held that meaning is the product of sociocultural convention or common usage. Semantics, the theory of the meaning of words, i…

Analytic Philosophy

(702 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang
[German Version] Its “greatgrandfather” was B. Bolzano, its “grandfather” G. Frege, and its “fathers” G.E. Moore, B. Russell, and L. Wittgenstein: such is the lineage of one of the most influential philosophical movements of the 20th century. In its first phase, analytic philosophy can be described (to use Russell's expression) as analytic realism. In his Wissenschaftslehre (1837), Bolzano strictly distinguished the contents of cognitive acts and linguistic utterances from all elements of the s…

Frege, Gottlob

(229 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang
[German Version] (Nov 8, 1848, Wismar – Jul 26, 1925, Bad Kleinen), gained his Habilitation in mathematics at Jena in 1874 where he became assistant professor in 1879, honorary professor in 1896 and emeritus in 1918. Frege's Begriffschrift (1879; ET: “Concept Script,” in: J. van Heijenoort, ed., From Frege to Gödel, 1967) opened a new epoch in the history of logic and replaced as the paradigm the Analytica priora of Aristotle. In his Grundlagen der Arithmetik (1884; ET: The Foundations of Arithmetic, 1974), Frege argued for the thesis that the fundamental concepts of arithme…


(1,849 words)

Author(s): Stoellger, Philipp | Künne, Wolfgang
[English Version] I. In Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft Das Problem von Sinn und Bedeutung von Ausdrücken, Sprachzeichen bzw. Worten wird mit jeder Thematisierung von Sprache explizit, spätestens seit Sokrates und der Sophistik (vgl. Plato, Kratylos). War in der Antike noch umstritten, ob die Bedeutung der Zeichen »von Natur aus« oder »durch Setzung« bestimmt werde, gilt sie heute zumeist als durch soziokulturelle Konvention bzw. den üblichen Zeichengebrauch bedingt. Als Theorie der Wortbedeutung…


(2,404 words)

Author(s): Künne, Wolfgang | Sarot, Marcel | Huxel, Kirsten | Siemann, Jutta
[English Version] I. Philosophisch Die Rede vom S. einer sprachlichen Äußerung ist syst. mehrdeutig. Den verschiedenen Sinnbegriffen entsprechen verschiedene Stufen des Verstehens (Sinnerfassens). Die ersten drei gehören zum Themenfeld der Semantik: (1) Ist der geäußerte Satz P in der Sprache des Sprechers frei von lexikalischer und grammatischer Mehrdeutigkeit, so versteht der Interpret die Äußerung zumindest in einer Hinsicht, wenn er weiß, welchen sprachlichen (lexikalisch-grammatischen) S. der Satz P hat. (2) Ist P mehrdeutig, so versteht man die Äuße…