[lit-ideas] Re: Indicate the way to my abode: the ultimate counterexample

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 00:17:42 +0100 (BST)

 From: "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx>

>McEvoy was arguing that Witters is right; I was contrariwise arguing that 
>Witters ain't right, but rather _wrong_. >

Before I go to strap myself back in, I haven't been arguing that W was "right" 
so much as trying to offer an interpretation that explains something of his POV 
that is fundamental to both his earlier and later philosophy. 

As it happens, I think I agree to the view that the sense of 'what is said' is 
never said/stated in 'what is said' - and some reflection along the lines of PI 
would seem to make this clear. But it does not obviously follow that the sense 
of 'what is said' can only be shown - it may be possible to argue it can be 
'said' in some meta-language or higher-order language that describes the sense 
of 'what is said'. I do not have a definite view on this, or on whether W is 
right that the sense can only be shown [for, to paraphrase one of PI's points, 
any attempt to 'say' the sense of 'what is said' would need itself to have a 
sense but that sense cannot be 'said' by any such attempt but can only be 

Another aspect of W's later philosophy which may not be right is the one Popper 
took up at the Moral Sciences Club: even if the sense of language can only be 
shown, and what W shows may throw light on certain philosophical problems that 
arise only because of lack of clarity in the sense of various claims, and even 
if W's 'therapy' may be used to 'dissolve' such problems, it may not be right 
that all philosophical problems have this character.  

And this is only to mention two important issues.


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