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Consider world. I see the world, note some state of affairs, and I make some interesting proposition P which describes it. Another person now reads it.

What the other person sees is just P. This P is now just a linguistic structure in front of him: a string of symbols. He reads it and makes sense out of it according to rules of language and relates it to reality. I am interested in knowing what enables him to understand P, exactly the way I intended it to mean?

More simply, how does any reader know what the statement is talking about (intends to)? Of course, proposition P by itself has some meaning. I can call it a closed meaning. But what enables him to relate the proposition to the reality? How is P able to denote the reality, or how do we relate it to reality? Is this relation a property of language or a capability of our minds?

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    Your question is basically: what is meaning (in language)? Which is a pretty big one and too broad for this site. But you can see: plato.stanford.edu/entries/meaning – Eliran Feb 9 at 23:55
  • Language is a social contract, meaning is not in the words but rather in the contexts and ways we use those words.. These form interconnected networks of highly complicated concepts and ideas that operate on more abstract levels, the question is broad to some extent but I highly recommand reading about some philosophy of Wittgenstein. – SmootQ Feb 10 at 0:31
  • @SmootQ Tractatus or Philosophical Investigations? – Ajax Feb 10 at 8:31
  • @Ajax both are great works – SmootQ Feb 10 at 20:12
  • tractatus online tractatus-online.appspot.com/Tractatus/jonathan/index.html click the menu on the right – SmootQ Feb 10 at 20:28

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