So far our philological analysis of the term ‘talent’ has revealed a fundamental change in the semantics of the term, and later, a profound effect on the developing semantics of ‘talent management’. This has primarily been a change from a limited denotative meaning, by means of which ‘talent’ referred to a coin in actual everyday usage, to multiple connotative meanings picking out abilities and mental endowments, or some related but poorly defined phenomenon. Now, in analytic philosophy, this transformation in the word’s meaning is not just a semantic issue; or, rather, semantic issues sometimes have non-trivial significance. Here, they pertain to issues around how the word relates to, and is a useful (or non-useful) part of, our concrete, goal-oriented daily activities. In this chapter, I pursue that line of thinking, exploring the historical developments in the use and meanings of ‘talent’ from a philosophical perspective based on the work of Saul Kripke, in order to give a clearer sense of how the basic nature of the term has shifted and how this can, in theory, have significant consequences for how the term can be used to causally interact with the world.
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- ‘Talent’ and ‘Talent Management’ as Accidental Designators or Empty Signifiers
- Palgrave Macmillan UK