Aiming at Truth by Nicholas Unwin (auth.) PDF

By Nicholas Unwin (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230624901

ISBN-13: 9780230624900

ISBN-10: 1349353078

ISBN-13: 9781349353071

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Example text

Sometimes it is unclear what is meant. L. Austin, I point my gun at your donkey thinking that it is mine, do I aim at your donkey or mine? Yours, I think, even though my aim was to shoot my donkey. But was I aiming to shoot my donkey, as opposed to yours? In a sense no, and in a sense yes. The difference might be expressed, perhaps confusingly, by saying that, although I was aiming to shoot my donkey, it was your donkey that I was aiming to shoot. Less confusingly (perhaps): I was aiming to make true .

As we have seen, no word can do the trick. Theatrical utterances and quotations are too different from assertions for this to be a problem worth worrying about, but with expressions of acceptance the matter is different. When engaged in a scientific discussion, it can be quite difficult to tell how a given utterance is to be understood. No doubt, we could introduce a non-verbal convention to indicate full-blown assertion analogous to the way in which fingercrooking indicates quotation – placing our fingers together in the shape of a Fregean assertion sign ‘ –’, perhaps!

However, not all that much will be achieved. The risk of sudden chaos has not been neutralized, and Strawson points out that: The chaotic universe just envisaged is not one in which induction would cease to be rational; it is simply one in which it would be impossible to form rational expectations to the effect that specific things would happen. It might be said that in such a universe it would at least be rational to refrain from forming specific expectations, to expect nothing but irregularities.

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Aiming at Truth by Nicholas Unwin (auth.)

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