The Guardian reports on this year’s Edge question: What scientific idea is ready for retirement?
Dan Sperber’s answer: The standard approach to meaning is ready for retirement.
“What is meaning? There are dozens of theories. I suspect however that little would be lost if most of them were retired and the others quarantined until we have had a serious conversation as to why we need a theory of meaning in the first place. Today I am nominating for retirement just the standard approach to meaning found in the study of language and communication.”