The Scale of Perfection, Book 2, Part 1 – Chapter 4

dohpeterchina's picture

That through the Sacrament of Baptism (which is grounded in the Passion of Christ) this Image is reformed from Original Sin

This is chapter 6 of The Scale of Perfection – Book 2 in Middle English:
That thorugh the sacrament of baptym that is groundid in the passioun of Crist this image is reformed fro the original synne.

jnwarren's picture

There's a difference in a

There's a difference in a passing interest in "language philosophy" and a genuine curiosity in truth and reality, and the interrelation between ideas and the world which they describe. That's a way to take the meat and gristle out of my argument!

The blue cup example is just that--an example--which serves the purpose of clarifying what is meant by the words "sense" and "meaning", which I am using in very particular ways. The example provides an illustration of this use, nothing more--I'm certainly not arguing we should limit our conversations to talking about blue cups, but it's just a start! (Wittgenstein, apropos, uses Lancelot's sword "Nothung" and the existence of the historical person of "Moses" as examples of this conundrum, but I suppose I'm just not that ambitious!)

"n the last analysis, no abstract utterance means anything unless we define our terms, but we could define the terms we used in defining our initial set of terms, and get so wrapped up in what we mean that we forget what we were saying."

Yes, this is called the problem of induction and has been a big debate among philosophers for centuries. The problem, of course, entails the use of "abstract particulars" or Universals the place of which serves to "connect" ideas, words or concepts such as to allow their schematization as a whole. The question to ask, though, and the question the skeptic raises, is whether the use of such "Universals" or "abstract particulars" is even necessary, or furthermore helpful, as words seem to stand fine in their absence.

The problem with "God" (and other terms) is not that we all do not have an agreed upon meaning for this word and it is therefore not valid in any discourse (though this is certainly a problem to consider), but that it, like "the good" (or any number of baseless, metaphysical ideas) refers to absolutely nothing, and is therefore meaningless and the end result of a severely misguided use of language over the centuries!

"Do you have a problem with any other statement that employs abstract terms?"

Actually, yes: I much prefer reference, which distinguishes the findings of, for instance, science with those of metaphysicians and philosophers.

    In seeking to advance scientific knowledge scientists report neither on the results of their processing of mental entities, nor on the contents of their heads -- and they certainly do not require the same with respect to the heads of others in their field, nor anywhere else for that matter. On the contrary, as far as their work is concerned, researchers develop new theories at the very least by extending the use and application of publicly accessible scientific language, theory and technique. And they do the first two of these by the use of analogy, metaphor and the novel employment of familiar general terms already in the public domain -- allied to the construction of specific models and "thought experiments", alongside various other rhetorical devices.

see here

"I prefer to live with the vagueness of human speech and only define my terms when asked, to limiting myself to only what I can say with concrete terms."

This is the problem, however, with "common sense" vs. ordinary language: the former is often (though perhaps not always explicitly) embedded with a number of historical and cultural (often just plain false!) beliefs and assumptions about the way things work, whereas the latter is merely a call for philosophers, theoreticians and others to "dissolve their language to that of the everyday world and find it is merely a reflection of that world", as Marx elaborated two hundred years ago. There is a difference between "common sense" and ordinary language, which does not make use of such devices.

" alterius non sit qui suus esse potest "