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TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 10:44 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;158967 wrote:
More than what? ................

---------- Post added 05-01-2010 at 11:37 AM ----------




I know you are trying to be ridiculous, but this is no laughing matter.:letme-at-em:
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 11:37 am
@wayne,
wayne;159200 wrote:
I thought of something I think applies to this.
I also think you are ,maybe, brilliant at this sort of skill.

John catches fish.
Therefore,
John does not catch fish

I don't think you can refute this.
It is clearly wrong, also clearly right.

What do you call this? Divided context?


Refute what? .........
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 05:32 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;159596 wrote:
Refute what? .........



I'll take that as an understanding of the statement.

I still wonder what you call such statements, that are correct in reference to grammar, yet make no sense when taken literally.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 05:48 am
@wayne,
wayne;159905 wrote:
I'll take that as an understanding of the statement.

I still wonder what you call such statements, that are correct in reference to grammar, yet make no sense when taken literally.


What statement? And what such statements?

But there are lots of sentences which are meaningless but are grammatically fine. Here are two:

1. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. (contributed by Noam Chomsky).

2. Quadruplicity drinks procrastination. (contributed by Bertrand Russell).

You can also find many (at random) on this forum, although one of our main contributors to nonsense seems to have left us for the nonce. Of course, philosophical writing has always been a gold mine for nonsense of various kinds and degrees. Which explains the advent of analytic philosophers as the sanitation engineers of philosophy. I suppose you can call sentences like that, "grammatical nonsense" (I think that Wittgenstein did). Of course, grammatical nonsense often parades as profound sense. Another job for analytic philosophers. To reveal (as Wittgenstein put it) hidden nonsense as blatant nonsense.
 
wayne
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 06:12 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;159908 wrote:
What statement? And what such statements?

But there are lots of sentences which are meaningless but are grammatically fine. Here are two:

1. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. (contributed by Noam Chomsky).

2. Quadruplicity drinks procrastination. (contributed by Bertrand Russell).

You can also find many (at random) on this forum, although one of our main contributors to nonsense seems to have left us for the nonce. Of course, philosophical writing has always been a gold mine for nonsense of various kinds and degrees. Which explains the advent of analytic philosophers as the sanitation engineers of philosophy. I suppose you can call sentences like that, "grammatical nonsense" (I think that Wittgenstein did). Of course, grammatical nonsense often parades as profound sense. Another job for analytic philosophers. To reveal (as Wittgenstein put it) hidden nonsense as blatant nonsense.


Exactly the point I wished to establish, thanx.
It was something I noticed and simply wondered if my perceptions were correct.
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 07:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Personal associations people happen to have with a term (if any) are one thing. But the meaning of the term, is a very different thing. I happen not to like cats, and and the word "cat" has unpleasant associations for me. But not for cat-lovers. But what has that to do with the meaning of the word, "cat"? Nothing that I can see.


Mmmm, thanks for the thought, Kennethamy. I think it is a mistake to consider a sign like 'philosophy', 'cat' 'there' or what have you as merely the combination of a certain sound and concept. The value of a given sign is completely dependent on its relationships with other signs and cannot be treated as some abstracted atomistic, self-independent value. Take the word mouton in French, for example. Sure, it may well have the same meaning as Sheep in English, but it does not have the same value. When served as flesh to eat in English it is no longer sheep but mutton, but in the French it remains a sheep. There is a difference of value. Again, if the claim that a word like 'philosophy' is not involved in some game of semiosis, then what exactlly is the eternal, fixed, immutable meaning of the sign?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 07:45 am
@qualia,
qualia;159943 wrote:
Mmmm, thanks for the thought, Kennethamy. I think it is a mistake to consider a sign like 'philosophy', 'cat' 'there' or what have you as merely the combination of a certain sound and concept. The value of a given sign is completely dependent on its relationships with other signs and cannot be treated as some abstracted atomistic, self-independent value. Take the word mouton in French, for example. Sure, it may well have the same meaning as Sheep in English, but it does not have the same value. When served as flesh to eat in English it is no longer sheep but mutton, but in the French it remains a sheep. There is a difference of value. Again, if the claim that a word like 'philosophy' is not involved in some game of semiosis, then what exactlly is the eternal, fixed, immutable meaning of the sign?


Don't know what "value" means concerning words except that some words evoke different feelings (some positive, some negative) in different people depending on the person. But anyway, I thought we were talking about meaning not something else. And if we stick to meaning, personal feelings that happen to be associated with a word in the case of this or that person are irrelevant.

There is no eternal immutable meaning of any sign. But, the meaning of a word is consists in how it is collectively used by fluent speakers of the language. That that is usually reported in a good dictionary of the language, so you can look it up. It is no mystery. But what a word means is a matter of fact, not a matter of value. That is why it is possible to misuse a word, and why it is possible to teach the correct meaning of a word to children or to non-native speakers.
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 07:06 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
Don't know what "value" means concerning words except that some words evoke different feelings (some positive, some negative) in different people depending on the person. But anyway, I thought we were talking about meaning not something else. And if we stick to meaning, personal feelings that happen to be associated with a word in the case of this or that person are irrelevant.

There is no eternal immutable meaning of any sign. But, the meaning of a word is consists in how it is collectively used by fluent speakers of the language. That that is usually reported in a good dictionary of the language, so you can look it up. It is no mystery. But what a word means is a matter of fact, not a matter of value. That is why it is possible to misuse a word, and why it is possible to teach the correct meaning of a word to children or to non-native speakers.


The use of value in linguistics is not some normative stance, like say an issue of morality, but a structural feature of a given code system. In the case offered, the value difference between sheep and mouton hinges on the idea that although the two words may have similar referentials, they can conjure completely different associations. On a more trivial level, the value of say a sign like 'analytical philosophy', conjures completely different associations here in Europe as to say what it may conjure in the UK or USA. If one then retorts that we had better get the discourse in shape by turning to a given collective usage and dictionary definition, then quite quickly we run into philosophical concerns.

If we obediently accepted this stance, that collective usage and dictionary usage affords a word's meaning, then definition is reported and regulated by common usage and prestigious dictionaries, and to the extent that one may use a word 'wrongly', we may refer them to the dictionary to get the true definition of the word they're using. The word's meaning, then, is normatively derived - in the moral sense -from convention and the dictionary's reputation on the market. Clearly, there are deep philosophical problems with this position.

For example, take a sign like 'red'. Dictionaries these days will surrender some kind of scientific theory for what it signifies, but this definition does not signify the standard in which people collectively use the word. Indeed, most people use 'red' without having any theory of it. Perhaps realizing this, dictionaries cover their backs by offering examples of red. My Oxford claims that red is 'flushed in the face, shame, anger, bloodshot, ripe fruit' and so on. But surely these are not definitions, but just how some collective groupings of people may happen to use the sign and no doubt incorrectly. I mean, are all ripe fruits and angry people 'red'?

What about simple signs like those related to one of the senses? How do I go about finding their definition? I'm informed that an odour is a smell and a smell is an odour, and that a scent is an odour and smell, but an aroma, like fragrant, is a pleasing smell and odour and perfume is an aroma, fragrance, smell, and odour. Every word is defined in terms of what? Itself? Then what has the dictionary defined? Its own redundancy?

Another problem we have philosophically is that if we accept the tyranny of the dictionary we suppose that its definition is the definition. But this is simply not the case. There are no singular formulas for giving definitions. Dictionaries are not all the same.

Moreover, we also assume the infallibility of not only the people who put the dictionary together, but also of that collective of fluent langauge speakers, and this, as say, Mill explained in his On Liberty, is a rather dangerous, and possibly sloppy philosophical stance to take. There ought not to be any such thing as The dictionary, just as there should never be such a thing as The common usage. There are myriad dictionaries on the market, and there is the promise of myriad meanings to an entire array of language signs.

Evidently, dictionaries do not define words. Humans do. Following Foucault, we may also raise the suspicion that what is more than likely authoritative about some dictionary or common usage of a given language sign will be the structures of power and discourse propping that authority and its dissemination of 'knowledge'. If a collective of fluent speakers or a popular dictionary, for example, claims that democracy is "a system of government by the whole population" (Oxford) and thus anything less than this is undemocratic, raises the absurd and possibly paradoxical situation in which the dictionary or given collective becomes The adjudicator of complex discourses and societal issues. It is foolish to think that dictionaries or some particular common usage of definition could solve such concerns and likewise solve problems in philosophy, politics, science, or what have you.
 
 

 
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