chapter
18 Pages

Introduction

In the following discussions we wish to turn our gaze to a fundamental difference in the field of meanings, a difference which lies hidden behind insignificant grammatical distinctions, such as those between categorematic and syncategorematic expressions, or between closed and unclosed expressions. To clear up such distinctions will enable us to apply our general distinction between independent and non-independent objects in the special field of meanings, so that the distinction treated in our present Investigation may be called that of independent and non-independent meanings. It yields the necessary foundation for the essential categories of meaning on which, as we shall briefly show, a large number of a priori laws of meaning rest, laws which abstract from the objective validity, from the real (real) or formal truth, or objectivity of such meanings. These laws, which govern the sphere of complex meanings, and whose role it is to divide sense from nonsense, are not yet the so-called laws of logic in the pregnant sense of this term: they provide pure logic with the possible meaning-forms, i.e. the a priori forms of complex meanings significant as wholes, whose ‘formal’ truth or ‘objectivity’ then depends on these pregnantly described ‘logical laws’. The former laws guard against senselessness (Unsinn), the latter against formal or analytic nonsense (Widersinn) or formal absurdity. If the laws of pure logic establish what an object’s possible unity requires in virtue of its pure form, the laws of complex meanings set forth the requirements of merely significant unity, i.e. the a priori patterns in which meanings belonging to different semantic categories can be united to form one meaning, instead of producing chaotic nonsense.