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CHAT reality (was: Number/Specificality/Archetypes in Language)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, September 27, 2004, 6:10
On Saturday, September 25, 2004, at 07:35 , Philippe Caquant wrote:

> --- Ray Brown <ray.brown@...> skrev: > >> >> To be quite frank, _ordinary people_ consider things >> differently even now! >> Most people, for example, would say that a horse >> is real and a unicorn is >> not. > > Hmmm again... Consider how many people believe in > astrology, horoscopes, homeopathy, religions...
Well? So what? The fact that some people consider astrology to be true and others consider it to be false has no bearing upon _objective_ truth or reality. Also, of course, the mere fact that i can say I consider astrology to be false and another person can say it is true means that both I and that other person do give meaning to the concepts "real" and "unreal". It is no so very long ago that you berated people like me and Keith as some sort of freekish 'geeks' and pointed out that you were an ordinary human being. Well, I maintain that 'reality' does have a meaning for most 'ordinary human beings' (whether an individual human being's concept of 'reality' is true, only partly true or, indeed, downright false is quite beside the point). If 'reality' means nothing to you, so be it. I understood that a solipsists held his/her self, even if everything else is a mere figment of his/her imagination. But if reality means nothing to you, I suppose the corollary is that unreality means nothing which, I guess, means you cannot be certain whether anything including yourself exists or be certain that anything including yourself does not exist. So be it. But I do have a notion that some things are real and others not (and some may or may not be - I simply do not have sufficient information) ; and I can assure you that in the 65+ years I have existed (I think) on this planet, my experience has been that practically everyone else I have met also has a notion of what is real and what is unreal. But if reality has no meaning for you, then there is no point in continuing this thread. [snip]
>> Plato's conceptions might be more apt. It will be >> found that no single >> coherent system can be constructed from his >> writings. > > What strikes me when reading Ancient Greeks, and even > philosophical literature up to, say, XVIIIth century, > is the terrible lack for methodology.
Oh - in what way did Plato lack methodology? I explained that Plato held that the greatest truths could not be adequately expressed in language and that, therefore, he held that they should not be put into writing but only imparted orally by metaphor and parable to initiates who had sufficient understanding of his exoteric (written) teachings that they were ready to progress to higher esoteric teachings. There is no reason AFAIK to suppose that the whole of his teaching did not form a logical and coherent system. [snip]
> BTW, I had an idea (of course, many people will prove > me that somebody else had the same one a long time > ago). One of the main problems when writing about > philosophy, and probably even more about linguistics, > is the confusion between language and meta-language,
"metalanguage /'meEt@%l&ngwIdZ/ _n_ A language which is used to talk about another language, the _object language_. A metalanguage may be either a natural language or a formal language; the same is true of an object language. it is very common in linguistics to use a natural language, such as English, as a metalanguage to talk about the same language as an object language; when this is done, it is essential to distinguish the two clearly to avoid confusion. This is conventionally done by typographical means, such as by citing object language forms in italics or in inverted commas: compare _Men are beasts_ with _'Men' is an irregular plural_." [Trask]
> and the real meaning the words used by the author are > suppose to carry.
But how can you talk about 'the real meaning the words...are supposed to carry' is, as you say, 'reality' has no meaning for you?
> meaning would not be prefixed. Imagine how much time > we would spare instead of arguing about what the > author really meant !
No, I cannot imagine it. The simple fact of life is that language changes, whether we like it or not, and so also do people's perceptions of the world change as knowledge advances. That's life in this changing world! Ray =============================================== =============================================== "They are evidently confusing science with technology." UMBERTO ECO September, 2004


Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>