What, exactly, did Michael Dummett mean by “a theory of meaning”?
“It must issue in principles which will make explicit the implicit knowledge we have of the language we use, the knowledge we display in our practice, in such a way as to show that these principles do adequately reflect that practice.” (78)
“we have an implicit knowledge, for example, of the physical principles which are manifested in our capacity to ride a bike”. (78)
“A good theory of meaning, then, will be a theory of what it is to understand, of what one knows when one knows a language, so that, for example, ‘Meaning is use’ could serve as a thesis in such theory only if to know the meaning is to know the use – implicitly or explicitly.” (78)