Quotation by Max Black

To anyone who still feels that there must be an identity of logical form between language and reality, I can only plead that the conception of language as a mirror of reality is radically mistaken. We find out soon enough that the universe is not capricious: the child who learns that fire burns and knife-edges cut knows that there are inexorable limits set upon his desires. Language must conform to the discovered regularities and irregularities of experience. But in order to do so, it is enough that it should be apt for the expression of everything that is or might be the case. To be content with less would be to be satisfied to be inarticulate; to ask for more is to desire the impossible. No roads lead from grammar to metaphysics.
Max Black (1909–1981), U.S. linguistic philosopher. repr. In The Linguistic Turn, pp. 331-339, ed. R. Rorty. "Language and Reality," p. 16, Models and Metaphors (1962).

Opposing the "picture theory" of language.
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