Philosophy and Ordinary Language: The Bent and Genius of our by Oswald Hanfling

By Oswald Hanfling

What's philosophy approximately and what are its tools? Philosophy and usual Language is a defence of the view that philosophy is basically approximately questions of language, which to a wide quantity skill ordinary language. a few humans argue that if philosophy is set traditional language, then it's unavoidably much less deep and tough than it's always taken to be yet Oswald Hanfling exhibits us that this is not actual. Hanfling, a number one specialist within the improvement of analytic philosophy, covers quite a lot of issues, together with scepticism and the definition of information, unfastened will, empiricism, folks psychology, traditional as opposed to synthetic common sense, and philosophy as opposed to technological know-how. Drawing on philosophers resembling Austin, Wittgenstein, and Quine, this e-book explores the character of normal language in philosophy.

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Extra resources for Philosophy and Ordinary Language: The Bent and Genius of our Tongue

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8 It may be felt that to read Plato in this way is to diminish the importance of what he wrote; but this, as I have also tried to show, would be a mistake. In a famous passage Socrates compared himself with a midwife. ’ is not, of course, always pursued as a question about the use of ‘X’. ’ in the Republic. When Thrasymachus replies that ‘justice is nothing else than the advantage of the stronger’ (338c), he can hardly mean that this is how the word is actually used. His ‘nothing else than’ (‘nothing but’) indicates that he is putting forward a ‘debunking’ claim: all that justice comes to, he thinks, is what is enacted by the stronger parties in their own interests (338e).

What caused the introduction of a distinct word was not a comparison of language with the world, revealing a distinction in the world which could not be marked in the existing language; it was the preference for a more convenient way of expressing an already describable distinction. This is not to say that new words can always be defined, or defined easily, in already existing language or that their introduction is superfluous. It is indeed obvious that a vocabulary can be enriched by the introduction of new words, which may be related to new ideas and new discoveries.

Evans, Aristotle (Harvard 1987), 47. Socrates and the quest for definitions 25 different from saying that we do not use substance words (such as ‘a man’) in that way, whereas we do use other kinds of words (such as ‘hot’) in that way. It is not as if Aristotle could somehow investigate the nature of substance as distinct from the linguistic practices. There is nothing (no ‘substance itself’) which stands in that relationship to what we say; and the account of how we use substance words is ipso facto an account of substance.

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