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Synthese Library

Directival Theory of Meaning

From Syntax and Pragmatics to Narrow Linguistic Content

Authors: Grabarczyk, Paweł

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  • Explores the directival theory of meaning for the first time in English
  • Offers a new approach to functional role semantics
  • Contributes a novel combination of distributed and embodied semantics
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eBook 67,82 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-18783-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-18781-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book presents a new approach to semantics based on Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz’s Directival Theory of Meaning (DTM), which in effect reduces semantics of the analysed language to the combination of its syntax and pragmatics. The author argues that the DTM was forgotten because for many years philosophers didn’t have conceptual tools to appreciate its innovative nature, and that the theory was far ahead of its time.


The book shows how a redesigned and modernised version of the DTM can deliver a new solution to the problem of defining linguistic meaning and that the theory can be understood as a new type of functional role semantics. The defining feature of the DTM is that it presents meaning as a product of constraints on the usage of words. According to the DTM meaning is not use, but the avoidance of misuse.


Readers will see how the DTM was shelved for reasons that we don’t find so dramatic anymore, and how it contains enough original ideas and solutions to warrant developing it into a full-blown contemporary account. It is shown how many of the underlying ideas of the theory have been embraced later by philosophers and treated simply as brute facts about natural languages or even as new philosophical discoveries.


Philosophers of language and researchers with an interest in how languages and the mind work will find this book a fascinating read.

About the authors

Paweł Grabarczyk is a Polish philosopher of language and mind, working as an assistant professor at the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Lodz and as a post-doc at IT University of Copenhagen. He is the author of several articles on the notion of “meaning”, “concept” and Ajdukiewicz’s directival theory of meaning. He is the head of the Centre for Philosophical Research, the largest Polish non-governmental philosophical organization and the editor in chief of two journals: HYBRIS and Replay: Polish Journal of Game Studies.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 67,82 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-18783-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 83,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-18781-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Directival Theory of Meaning
Book Subtitle
From Syntax and Pragmatics to Narrow Linguistic Content
Authors
Series Title
Synthese Library
Series Volume
409
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-18783-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-18783-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-18781-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 238
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics