[Node to be completed]
Our definition of meaning as potential knowldge assigns meaning only
to messages, but not to their parts. Yet parts also have some meaning;
we do not say that the word 'table' is meaningless. It has a meaning,
but of its own kind, which we shall designate as instrumental,
because it is used in assignin meaning to such sentences as
'This is John's table', or 'My table is is made of metal'. The preposition
'in' also has an instrumental meaning: it is used to construct such
sentences as 'There is an apple in this box'. Usually it is clear
from the context which kind of meaning we mean. One exception is our
definition of a message as the minimal unit of the language that has
a definite meaning. We must make it clear that we have in mind
meaning proper, not instrumental meaning.
If we understand the instrumental meaning of a word, we can describe
how precisely it is used in models. Since to describe models we have to
describe processes which they involve, a description of instrumental
meaning will, probably, also involve the description of cerain processes.
For example, the meaning of such a noun as 'table' is in the abstraction
process which recognizes an object as a table. This process is must be
inevitably used in the meaning of any sentence including the word 'table'.