In Geometry (which is the only science that it hath pleased God hithertotobestowonmankind) men begin at settling the significations of their words; which?they call Definitions.
One of the first major steps in the direction of modern skepticism came through the victory of Occam over Aquinas in a controversy about language. The statement that modi essendi were replaced by modi significandi et intelligendi, or that ontological referents were abandoned in favor of pragmatic significations, describes broadly the change in philosophy which continues to our time. From Occam to Bacon, from Bacon to Hobbes, and from Hobbes to contemporary semanticists, the progression is clear: ideas become psychological figments, words become useful signs.richard weaver
The first cause of Absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of Method; in that they begin not their Ratiocination from Definitions; that is, from settled significations of their words: as if they could cast account, without knowing the value of the numerall words, one , two , and three .thomas hobbes