Chapter

Matter and Meaning

Colin McGinn

in Basic Structures of Reality

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841103
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841103.003.0012
Matter and Meaning

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Physics has long distinguished itself as the exemplary science, being much admired and respected. Other disciplines have envied physics and tried to model themselves on it. The social sciences, in particular, have felt a strong urge to mimic the methods and techniques of physics. Its manifest success has had a huge impact on intellectual culture in general. Physics is the shining emblem of man's intellectual powers, his ascendancy over nature, his godlike status. When the physicist speaks, the world listens. Physics is, above all, influential. This chapter explores the influence of physics on philosophical work relating to language and meaning—one area in which the intellectual preeminence of physics might make itself felt.

Keywords: physics; philosophy; language; meaning

Chapter.  9478 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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