Item description for Do Philosophers Talk Nonsense? by Ian Dearden...
Do Philosophers Talk Nonsense? by Ian Dearden
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.33" Weight: 0.41 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2005
Publisher Bank House Books
ISBN 1904408109 ISBN13 9781904408109
Availability 51 units. Availability accurate as of May 22, 2017 03:40.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Do Philosophers Talk Nonsense??
Dearden doesn't talk nonsense Aug 7, 2007
This book is a philosophy book and philosophy books are rarely easy reads. You would need to have some knowledge or interest in philosophy, and in particular the works of Wittgenstein, for this to hold your interest. But, having said that, it develops a line of argument without relying at all really on prior knowledge. You just have to be able to follow the argument through its twists and turns.
You might think that nonsense comes cheap and is in plentiful supply but Dearden demonstrates some difficulties in the accusation that verficationists and others make against others that they are talking nonsense. Verificationists are those who claim that for a statement to be meaningful it must be verifiable. One example of a verificationist is Norman Malcolm, and Dearden deals with his view of the claim "I am asleep." Can that claim ever be meaningful? What would your evidence be? Dearden does not restrict himself to discussing verificationists and talks of the broader class of nonsensicalists, those who accuse others of talking nonsense.
While Dearden is generally opposed to nonsensicalism he does find a line of thought in Wittgenstein that provides some prospects for understanding how there can be illusions of meaning. The nonsensicalist is not saying that their opponent is knowingly talking nonsense, just that they are experiencing an illusion of meaningfulness in what they are saying. Wittgenstein claims that there is no distinctive mental experience which determines the meaning of what you are saying. Therefore there is room for one to think what one says is meaningful and yet be wrong.
This is a relatively short and readable book (if you can read philosophy at all) which is an example of clarity in philosophical writing. If you want an example of a philosopher NOT talking nonsense this is the book for you.