The kind of thing meanings are (1)

For the purposes of a model for fictionality propositions, meanings and concepts are deployed as abstract, dimensionless, and absolute objects. No particular ontological status is required in order to validate these objects, since it is enough that they can be imagined for systems modelling truth and such.  Nonetheless, the absence of any consideration of how the model might be mapped to the cosmos seems remiss. (Happily, since it’s ‘not within the purview of this research’ there’s no obligation, having identified conflicting and convoluted alternatives, to determine which is right).

A starting point (I’ll need an inoffensive axiom that might apply to both the model and reality):

Grandiose first principle:

Meanings are a kind of concept that can reference concrete things and concepts.

For practical purposes in logic it can be said meanings are somewhere in sets of relations between things and their representations across frames of reference. ‘Propositions’ or ‘propositional content’ may be deployed or invoked as a convenient container for meaning (or because there are propositions in truth.)

For purposes of clarification the question of the ontological status of meanings can be characterised in terms of where meaning resides (at which world/s)

  1. At the frame of reference of an object (‘object world’, say)
  2. at the frame of reference of the representation, speaker, author, thinker, reader and so on (‘subject world’),
  3. Or abstractly, ubiquitously apart from any frame of reference or world.

The same distinctions can be applied to the broader set of concepts of which meanings are a subset, which yields..

  1. Things and their natures residing at the ‘object world’
  2. Meanings and concepts residing specifically at the frame of reference of observers, ‘utterers’, the world where representations occur as events or objects (in this case subjective, or perhaps inter-subjective in sum
  3. Meanings and concepts reside independently of individual frames of reference or worlds (belief worlds, times, possibilities), in some ubiquitous or abstract way.

This is not to suppose that all meanings of concepts are of one kind or of the other.


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