Although the idea that meaning is use is often attributed to him, Wittgenstein never said that meaning is use. The closest he seems to come to saying that (based on my cursory knowledge of Wittgenstein, reading other things and poking around the internet) is from PI 43: “For a large class of cases — though not for all — in which we employ the word ‘meaning’ it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language.” Wittgenstein here denies the idea that the meaning of all words can be given in terms of their use. He isn’t quite nice enough to say which class of words has meanings that cannot be defined in terms of use. Most philosophers that apply the ‘meaning is use’ slogan to the whole of semantics seem to think that all words can be explained in that way. Is this a case where people were just inspired to grander things by a qualified statement? Or, are there reasons to think that Wittgenstein, by his own lights should have dropped the qualification and said that all meaning is so explainable?

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