Family Resemblances and Paradigm Cases1

David Codera1

a1 University of Saskatchewan

Current discussions of how words have meaning owe a great deal to the two ideas of family resemblances and paradigm cases. But the relations between these ideas have not been examined sufficiently. Some people regard the ideas as pretty much the same, or at least as complementary. Others regard them as distinct but compatible instruments for ordinary language analysis. I believe that both attitudes are probably wrong. Almost certainly, neither attitude is justified given the most common understandings of the two ideas.


1 I am grateful to my colleague D. W. Crawford, who has read several drafts of this paper and has made valuable suggestions each time.