[lit-ideas] Re: Michael Dummet (phatic on)

  • From: Torgeir Fjeld <torgeir_fjeld@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 12:31:05 +0000 (GMT)

phatic had read the Sir Michael Dummett obituary, "Philosopher who focused on 
falsehood and truth in language" by AW Moore on guardian.co.uk, published 
Wednesday 28 December 2011 18.21 GMT. There it said:

Frege held that the way in which the words in a sentence combine reflects the 
structure of the thought that the sentence expresses. In the sentence "Michael 
smokes," a proper name combines with a verb so as to express the thought that a 
particular person, Michael, indulges in a particular activity, smoking. This 
thought is true if Michael does in fact smoke, and false otherwise.

"Is it not so," inquired phatic, "that in order to arrive at a proposition 
concerning Michael's activities, we would end up with something like 'Michael 

"Yes?" said I.

"Well, then that proposition would have to go trough a reality-check, and so 


"Until we would arrive at a place outside language where everything just IS..."

"... without mediation," I offered.

"Yes, transparently," phatic added.

We went silent for a while. It didn't snow outside, and even if it did we 
didn't any longer have a way to find out.

"I guess that's it. Puts Dummet up there with ole' Plato, innit?"

"Guess so," said I.

Best wishes,
Torgeir Fjeld
Oslo, Norway

http://independent.academia.edu/TorgeirFjeld  //   http://facebook.com/phatic
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