Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Larry Mayhew, Ronald Nash

Degree Program

Department of Philosophy & Religion

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Fol.r major accounts of linguistic meaning are considered. A referential theory of meaning as developed by Bertrand Russell is considered and rejected on the grounds of some critical observations made by P. F. Strawson. An instrumentalistic theory of meaning as adopted by Ludwig Wittgenstein is next considered and found after an evaluation by C. S. Chihara and J. A. Fodor to be inconclusive. A behavioristic theory of meaning as advocated by Charles W. Morris is considered next. Based on questions posed by L. O. Kattsoff this theory of meaning is found to be, at best, incomplete. Finally, an ideational account of meaning is considered. The traditional ideational account posed by John Locke is rapidly rejected on the basis of his theory of idea; but a theory of idea proposed by Brand Blanshard is found to serve an ideational theory of meaning quite well. Concluding the thesis is a brief summary and a prospectus.


Arts and Humanities | Philosophy | Philosophy of Language