Author Burrow, Sylvia Jane
Title Experientialist semantics: Relativism and the individual
book jacket
Descript 114 p
Note Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 36-02, page: 0356
Adviser: Jeffry Pelletier
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Alberta (Canada), 1997
Conceptual relativism is identified with linguistic relativism in that truth and meaning in a language are understood only in relation to a conceptual scheme. George Lakoff describes his account of conceptual relativism as "experientialism", for truth and meaning are based on the individual's experiences in the world. Lakoff claims that experientialism offers an account of relativism which avoids subjectivism, which is the focus of this thesis. But what does this claim entail, and how can Lakoff justify it? To situate Lakoffs theory, I offer a background understanding of the main issues of relativism. Then I outline the two main philosophical influences on Lakoffs relativism, Benjamin Lee Whorf and Hilary Putnam, showing where experientialism diverges and conflicts. Finally, I show that Lakoff fails to justify his claim that meaning and truth are shared among members of a linguistic community. This leaves Lakoff with a subjectivist account of semantics
School code: 0351
Host Item Masters Abstracts International 36-02
Subject Philosophy
Alt Author University of Alberta (Canada)