Book Chapter

Meaning: Foundational and Semantic Theories

M Cameron

The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy | Published : 2012


This article discusses theories of meaning. First, semantic theories are concerned with what the semantic value of a linguistic expression is. These are most basically characterized as theories of reference and/or semantic theories. Second, there are also foundational theories of meaning, which are concerned with how the linguistic expressions came to have their semantic values. Each type of theory of meaning asks a different question: the first asks what the semantic value of an expression is; the second asks how, or in virtue of which facts, linguistic expressions have their semantic values. The article presents an outline of medieval foundational semantics and examines the various semanti..

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