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    (Original post by Calvin)
    Wonderful! the beginnings of a discussion. Good, I completely agree with you. But how about this:
    The meaning of a name is the thing in the world it names. "The X" appears to function like a name. But then things like "the present king of france" don't clearly name anything in the world. So are they meaningless? Or are they not like names- in which case, what are they?
    ok, I'm trying to pick up on the conversation here (my poor attempt at philosophy hehe :rolleyes: )...

    Say I dream up a fictional character in my mind 'King Zu of Lug', and replay a narrative through my mind, and then tell it to a group of people. 'Zu' is clearly representational of a person within the world but is not himself in the world. And Zu as a name is clearly nonsensical until I fill it with subsequent meaning around the name... and all of the sudden even though Zu by itself has no meaning, in the context of fictional narrative it has been given meaning even though he was never in the world. 'Zu' is representational of something in the world, or something intending/intended in the world.

    Or take the example of mythology (obviously not an exact example of it, but you get the point)... if I understand that Jupiter rules the world with an iron rod, requiring obedience of his subjects, that has meaning for me even though it may not be true. Say I discover that Jupiter is a fantasy, and decide to do away with Jupiter, not to consider Jupiter, then Jupiter loses his (original) meaning (although the name Jupiter may mean to the person a sense of lies or naivety). However, if I decide that Jupiter plays a neat story representing an abstract quality in the world (such as evil, or power) then Jupiter takes the form of another kind of meaning, because its (new) meaning has become representational (although the mythological meaning could be seen as representational in actuality, to the person it is not understood as representational as such).

    Now something clearly has meaning if it is fictional, but i believe it to be fact... but it still has meaning if it is fictional and still understood as fictional so long as it refers to something within the world. The three witches in Macbeth are fictional, but surely Shakespeare is representing something with regards to witch trials and to play on the mind of the (then) current king.

    So the sentence 'the present king of france is bald' would make some sort of sense in a play or fiction. Outside of fiction, if it was said 'the present king of france is bald' then this may still have some sort of representational meaning, albeit hidden in a incorrect proposition. So long as the proposition itself is not taken seriously, one may understand the underlying meaning, although perhaps one might argue that precise language has gone to pot at this stage... but given the fact language is used this way then such propositions can be laced with meaning, just different meaning from a literal interpretation of the proposition at hand.

    For instance, if it was said "Hey! You know that the present king of france is bald" and the person listening, understanding the speaker knew exactly that he was speaking about bald men thinking they are some how powerful in virtue of their baldness , but in actuality they are just arrogant and stupid like the French. Of course the statement is not to be taken literally, but in a pseudo satirical manner, it has meaning, albeit laced with a web of preconceptions about kings, bald men and people from France.

    As with terms laced with meaning, its always relative to context... if you speak of the king of spain to someone from madrid they think of their monarch. Speak of the king of spain to an english cricket supporter and they think of Ashley Giles. We could bemoan the lack in imprecise language, but the fact of the matter is that language is so mailable it can end up with variant meanings... A Queenslander and a Geordie may both speak 'english' but have them bantering in 'local tongues' and it might as well be a conversation between a siberian peasant and a zulu warcheif.

    Anyway thats my non-sensical rant for the moment
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    Hope everyone is nominating the Philsoc for thread of the year, btw ...
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    :banghead: Stupid Donald bloody Davidson. Grrrr!!!
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    (Original post by wanderer)
    Hope everyone is nominating the Philsoc for thread of the year, btw ...
    i don't qualify to nominate
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    :banghead: Stupid Donald bloody Davidson. Grrrr!!!
    Analytic philosopher, mind and language, 1917-2003, American. Speaking ill of the dead?
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    That would be the one. Couldn't write a legible book to save his life.
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    That would be the one. Couldn't write a legible book to save his life.
    He's American. What did you expect? :p:
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    one of my lecturers told me today that A.J Ayer was into sado masochism....that tickled me!
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    (Original post by Checking for Spies)
    one of my lecturers told me today that A.J Ayer was into sado masochism....that tickled me!
    My philosophy teacher told me that while he was doing a fellowship down at Cambridge one of the other fellows got kicked out for having high-class prostitutes in his room....how rude...

    and also, Bertrand Russell was a swinger.... :eek:
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    That would be the one. Couldn't write a legible book to save his life.
    Everyone knows utter incomprehensibility is the clearest sign of a great philosopher.
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    (Original post by organised_chaos)
    My philosophy teacher told me that while he was doing a fellowship down at Cambridge one of the other fellows got kicked out for having high-class prostitutes in his room....how rude...

    and also, Bertrand Russell was a swinger.... :eek:
    Hmmm... Actually the man you are talking about is still around. He lecture first years in logic. And it wasn't just prostitutes, he was road testing them for a review on his prostitute review website... :rolleyes:

    Popper is American, so is Nozick. Both very clear writers. It's not just americans. It's just a subset who were never taught to write decent essays.
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    Hmmm... Actually the man you are talking about is still around. He lecture first years in logic. And it wasn't just prostitutes, he was road testing them for a review on his prostitute review website... :rolleyes:
    It wasn't his website :p:

    What is the source of this Ayer revelation?? :eek:

    ZarathustraX

    PS: Welcome to the new members: marmitebagel, ninetails & foxo
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    Erm, okay. Can someone explain Idealism as basically as possible without throwing in too many convoluting words? Is it that the only thing that exists are ideas and nothing else?? I don't quite get it.. :s:
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    Have you read 'Three Dialogues Between Philonius and whatshisface' by Berkely. The clearest simplest philosophy book I've ever read and it's the original outline of idealism.

    Basically for idealism to be is to be perceived. Existence is only to exist in somebodies mind. There is only one substance and that is 'spirit' which makes up our mind and ideas. Matter is just an idea in the mind not something that exists externally.
    Essentially the point is that nothing is mind indepedent except for other minds.
    Though some versions differ over the specifics. Berkely thought everything existed continuously because it was perceived by God who peceives all. Others think things disappear when we stop perceiving them. Others think that they are the only mind that exists and that to be is to be perceived by them.
    Like most philosophical theories there is a lot of internal disagreement but that's the basic idea. Read 'three dialogues though' even if only the first dialogue. It's only like 20 pages and it is really really clearly written for an old book. Bekely is one of the best philosophical authors in my view.
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    Have you read 'Three Dialogues Between Philonius and whatshisface' by Berkely. The clearest simplest philosophy book I've ever read and it's the original outline of idealism.

    Basically for idealism to be is to be perceived. Existence is only to exist in somebodies mind. There is only one substance and that is 'spirit' which makes up our mind and ideas. Matter is just an idea in the mind not something that exists externally.
    Essentially the point is that nothing is mind indepedent except for other minds.
    Though some versions differ over the specifics. Berkely thought everything existed continuously because it was perceived by God who peceives all. Others think things disappear when we stop perceiving them. Others think that they are the only mind that exists and that to be is to be perceived by them.
    Like most philosophical theories there is a lot of internal disagreement but that's the basic idea. Read 'three dialogues though' even if only the first dialogue. It's only like 20 pages and it is really really clearly written for an old book. Bekely is one of the best philosophical authors in my view.
    Ah yeah we talked about that, and I asked who was perceiving God then :p:

    Seems a little weird though, surely it leads to solipsism?
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    (Original post by Zarathustra)
    It wasn't his website :p:

    What is the source of this Ayer revelation?? :eek:

    ZarathustraX

    PS: Welcome to the new members: marmitebagel, ninetails & foxo
    If it wasn't even his website that's even worse... wait, so can you get paid for being a prostitute tester? That has to be somewhere in the list of teenager dream jobs. Computer games tester. Ice Cream designer. Sweet Shop quality control expert. Professional prostitute reviewer.
    --------------
    (Original post by HearTheThunder)
    Ah yeah we talked about that, and I asked who was perceiving God then :p:

    Seems a little weird though, surely it leads to solipsism?
    Well God would be peceiving himself. Just like I am perceiving myself supposedly

    It can lead to solipsism. But it needn't so long as you accept that minds exists independently of other minds which many idealist do. Berkely can trace them back to God who exists necessarily. Others trace them back to themselves. I perceive myself so I exist. What? Circular? Noooooo. But you might be able to mae it work.
    Personally I don't see the problem with solipsism, philosophers get all antsy about it but I think they're just chicken. Need some faith in their convictions.
    That being said. Idealism in serious philosophy is normally more complex than this. It's a starting point for taking particular attitudes to many other philosophical theories. So exactly how they answer these sorts of questions will vary for person to person. Often underpinning their other theories to the point at which it just isn't something they concern themselves with anymore.
    Others may take certain plausible views to other theories in philosophy which force them into idealism.

    It needn't really be a radical view. Berkely I think does very well to show how idealism needn't differ that much from common intuition. After all, how well do any of us really understand the notion of 'existence' as distinct from 'can see or touch it' for instance?
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    That has to be somewhere in the list of teenager dream jobs. Computer games tester. Ice Cream designer. Sweet Shop quality control expert. Professional prostitute reviewer.
    :toofunny:

    That is absolutely hilarious.
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    Ice cream designer? And computer games tester is a real job. :p:
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    Oh I know... still considering that one. But so are all the jobs I mention it would seem
    Ice Cream designer would be an amazing job! Think of all the research...
    I've been to the peak district and back today. So I'm going to sleep!
    But first, was thinking today about the whole ancient Greek philosophers before Plato.
    Heraclitus and "everything changes, there is no stability" VS Parmenides and Zeno with "Change makes no sense, everything is constant"
    Why don't we have really big vague debates like that in philosophy anymore, how come it's all techinical fiddly bits? I think I'd enjoy that more, nobody gets all deep and metaphysical anymore
    Is it because we have progressed in learning to more detailed questions, or has everything become more sophisticated or have styles changed?
    And does anybody think it's one or the other of the two views?
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    (Original post by Calvin)
    Oh I know... still considering that one. But so are all the jobs I mention it would seem
    Ice Cream designer would be an amazing job! Think of all the research...
    I've been to the peak district and back today. So I'm going to sleep!
    But first, was thinking today about the whole ancient Greek philosophers before Plato.
    Heraclitus and "everything changes, there is no stability" VS Parmenides and Zeno with "Change makes no sense, everything is constant"
    Why don't we have really big vague debates like that in philosophy anymore, how come it's all techinical fiddly bits? I think I'd enjoy that more, nobody gets all deep and metaphysical anymore
    Is it because we have progressed in learning to more detailed questions, or has everything become more sophisticated or have styles changed?
    And does anybody think it's one or the other of the two views?
    Because of anayltic philosophy, right? You can't really answer the big questions, just wave your arms about and make grand claims. Then again, thats probably true of the technical fiddly bits as well.
 
 
 
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