Chapter

Understanding nonsense

Guy Robinson

in Philosophy and Mystification

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780823222919
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235513 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823222919.003.0002
Understanding nonsense

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Philosophy, in this book, is conceptualized through the combined ideas of Wittgenstein and Aristotle. Wittgenstein would describe philosophy as not having a distinct subject matter; Aristotle gives importance to the difference between spoken words and what one really thinks or means to say. One conception sets truth and falsehood as its tests while the other is set on a sense and nonsense axis. In this chapter, the chapter presents Descartes’s hyperbolical doubt and cites language as an example. A word would make sense if used in a situation in which it has a role, but a set of seemingly incommensurable words can still be a part of one language. Nonsense can then be viewed both as a tool and as a problem, depending on which conception will be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; language; Descartes; hyperbolical doubt

Chapter.  12252 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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