[lit-ideas] : The nothing noths or not

  • From: Adriano Palma <Palma@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 07:25:23 +0000

Within English (usage) there is no strict guideline, for those who believe that 
grammars are normative objects, mostly invented by decrepit idiots in the media 
and selling books on punctuation and ‘eats shoot leaves’ as recent bestseller 
zeroed on in  the point.
In many languages you can use a determiner with functional equivalents of 
It is utterly imbecilic to hang fine points of speculative metaphysics on 
dubious etymology, since

a.     The points do not generalize (Kusturica is correct, the dem particles 
sounds ok in many cases as in “the unicorn” as in “the Marx Badiou likes is a 
non existent character in a lacanian soap opera”, “the santa claus of 
supermarkets is an employee dressed in red” and “the santa claus children 
worship does not exist”, some even go to the length of “the jesus of the gospel 
never existed”, but equally for a fictionalist in mathematics “numbers do not 
exist, therefore the number three does not exist either”) It remains, to my ear 
an open question whether the expression the nothing would pass muster by this 
queer discussions engendered by the nazi buffoons and his friend buttman

b.     Even if it were established by empirical methods that a particular 
phrase that usage license it, in Greek say, the discovery that what is atomic 
is such that it is indivisible, nothing stops and stopped in the past to split 
atoms, hence, I surmise sentences such as Fermi at Batavia split atoms, as 
predicted by the prior theory-  are just fine. The complaint that ‘atom’ is the 
“unsplit(table)” can be made only by idiots
Before one worries about the adject “speculative” in the prior sentence, 
Heideggerian metaphysics is speculative for the simple reason that there is no 
argument for it (what determines that a hammer is not hammer if not at hand? 
Which argument was given to claim that “people” are afraid of dying?


From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Omar Kusturica
Sent: 20 February 2015 08:26
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: The nothing noths

I'll not go into German usage, but in English 'The Nothing' seems 
ungrammatical. Adding the definite article implies that 'Nothing' is really an 
entity, which doesn't seem to be what an English speaker intuits about it. 
(Compare "the unicorn") It may be that Nothing could or should be viewed as an 
entity of sorts, but I would not concede this without seeing some kind of 
argument instead of arbitrary decision.


On Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 8:56 PM, Omar Kusturica 
<omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
Nothing noths...

On Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 6:02 PM, Redacted sender 
Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx<mailto:Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> for DMARC 
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
We love D. P. Henry. Apparenty, he could read Heidegger in various

In a message dated 2/19/2015 10:03:19 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
Carnap is too poor an enemy against which  to pit Heidegger

Perhaps Ayer then. Apparently, Sir Freddie Ayer learned a lot from  Carnap.

Re: O. K.'s request for references, one should check the bibliographical
references to J. L. Scherb in "Philosophisches Jahrbuch", vol. 115.

Scherb's essay is entitled

"Nichtet das Nichts wirklich nicht?

and subtitled:

Analyse und Explikation: oder: eine deutsche Vorkriegsdebatte  europäisch
belichtet" and while he does focus on the German context, he provides  the
reference to D. P. Henry and Lesniewski among others.

We have to grant that Scherb does base his exegesis on, to echo McEvoy,
Carnap v Heidegger, where Popper v Heidegger and Witters v Carnap (and Ayer v
Carnap, say) seem also v. valid, too.

Note that the title of Scherb's essay translates:

So, does the nothing really NOT noth?

which should amuse Ayer (and Carnap): the negation of nonsense IMPLICATES
nonsense (but the implicature is of course cancellable and conversational),
but  of course does not *entail* nonsense.

(cf. "It is false that the nothing noths"; or, to use Carnap's example,
"Caesar is not a prime number; in fact, Caesar is not a number").

The addition of 'really' is merely stylistic -- what Austin called a
'trouser word'.




Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic -- reference to Heidegger on  "Nothing"
Grice, "Heidegger is the greatest living philosopher".
Henry, D. P.
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