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Re: Loopers-Delight-d Digest V07 #149

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rabbirabbifive" <rabbirabbi5@yahoo.com>

> I'm guessing that "devoid of literal/factual meaning" means something
> like, "I choose to exclude such matters from this philosophy".

No, it doesn't. The theory leads to the conclusion that that there are no 
statements that are also statements of fact. One only choose the original 
or assumptions of the theory, which lead to that conclusion.  So, one 
directly to choosing that conclusion...rather the theory leads to it - IF 
you accept
the original assumptions.

> Why anyone would choose to center one's self in a philosophy that
> excludes exactly the questions that most challenge us as human beings-
> what is truth, what is beauty, what is good (or The Good), for
> examples- is rather beyond me, though I suspect it has something to do 
> with the
> 20th century fear of anything with a whiff of the metaphysical about
> it.

So, since you are talking about me here, personally, I am on guard..  But, 
correct your statement above, one doesn't exclude those questions at the
outset...the exclusion comes after the theory is worked out and understood.
You make it sound like these philosophers just started with the assumption
that a certain type of question are illegitemate, which is not correct.

>> If you understand the theory and premises,
>> then you will understand the points I made. You aren't expected to
>> agree with the conclusions,
>> just understand that given the premises of the theory, the conclusion
>> that evaluative statement are
>> meaningless follows.
> "Meaningless" to whom, exactly?
> It doesn't follow that something has
> to be part of the sensory world, or relate to it, to be "meaningful".

You're misquoting the theory. The theory does say that these terms are
meaninful, only that they are not meaningful in the context of fact-based
statements like "X is good" or "X is beautful". It is a very technical 
and you are trying to oversimplify it here, so that it seems easily 
The terms have a lot of meaning when they are translated into emotive
based language. That's the gist of the theory.  So, for me personally, when
someone tells me that they think Mozart is "better" than Bach, I do the 
myelf (it is automatic now after so many years). I take that to mean, not
that Mozart has some objective quality of "goodness" that Bach does not
have, but but that the person who makes this statement has stronger 
toward Mozart....and the interesting thing is that when you ask people to
qualify those sort of "good, better, best" statements, they often 
the way they feel about them, which sort of supports the theory.

Don't get hung up on the fact that the theory says the terms are 
mean that in a very technical way in the context of linguistics and 

> Beauty, Truth and Goodness are about as meaningful as it gets, and some
> of us, at least, think these things real, and find intellectual
> attempts to exclude them from serious philosophical discussion to be
> wrongheaded at best, and sinister at worst.

Yes, I would expect this. It is a natural consequence of human diversity.
Now, shall I ask the group, "why would anyone believe this sort of thing"?
No. That seems a bit unfair, when afterall we are talking about very 
theories here. Each deserves some respect, as do the holders of them.  To
ask why anyone would beliieve such thing seems a bit condesending, as if
your way of thinking is the only way. Some of us call that dogma. It 
me that you asked that question above. One has the right to question the
questions as well, and often we find that we are asking the wrong type of
questions. The questions often frame how we go about with our 
Have you read Sherlock Holmes? :)  It's just that some philosophers, not 
20th century (there were Greeks and middle age thinkers who thought  this 
too), argued that questions like "What is Good?" or "What is Beauty" are 
really questions, but language structures that lead us down a myriad of