chapter  2
Philosophical approaches to meaning
ByBetty J. Birner
Pages 35

Philosophy of language is heavily focused on questions of meaning: the relationship between language and thought, the locus of meaning, and the relationship between meaning and truth. This chapter considers all of these issues. It focuses on what philosophy can tell one specifically about meaning in human language. Reddy wrote a highly influential paper describing a pervasive metaphor in English that treats communication as a matter of putting our meanings into containers and passing them along a conduit to the recipient, who then extracts the meanings from the containers. In short, Reddy is saying that the options that the English language gives us for talking about communication affect the way we think about communication. The sense/reference distinction resolved the problem by taking the sense of an expression to be its descriptive meaning, the aspect under which we are presenting the referent.