New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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6
PROBLEMS IN MEANING
four essential factors are involved: the subject, the symbol,, the referent, and the conception. Let us now clarify the relationship between three of these factors by the following well-known triangular diagram.
CONCEPTION
(reference, connotation, psychological response, attitude or state of person hearing or speaking, thought, idea, etc.)
WORD                                           REFERENT
(symbol)                                 (thing, object, fact, qual-
ity of experience, denotation, property of thing, state of affairs, designa-turn, etc.)
This diagram indicates (a) that the relationship between words and referents, which we shall call denotation, is an indirect or imputed one, and (b) that the relationship between words and conceptions, which we shall call connotation, is a direct one. As Coleridge delightfully explains:
It is the fundamental mistake of grammarians and writers on the philosophy of grammar and language, to suppose that words and their syntaxis are the immediate representatives of things, or that they correspond to things. Words correspond to thoughts, and the legitimate order and connection of words, to the taws of