Nov 1

The Paradox of the Dialectic, a talk by Abe Graber '08, Univ. of Iowa

Abe Graber '08 is on campus to give a talk. He is currently finishing his PhD. in Philosophy (University of Iowa). Pizza will be served!

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 pm / Leighton #402

Abstract:  In this paper I argue that there is a bi-directional relationship between philosophy and meaning such that doing philosophy can change the meaning of terms.  This fact gives rise to three concerns.  First, one’s conclusions can become right in virtue of one doing a particularly good job arguing for them.  Second, it may be implausible to take philosophy to be a primarily descriptive enterprise.  It may be that part of the job of the philosopher is to proselytize about the correct way to use a word.  Lastly, and most worrisome of all, the age-old method of the dialectic, a centerpiece of the philosophical project for thousands of years, threatens to plunge all of philosophical discourse into incoherence.  I take these to be real worries; however, I have no suggested solutions.

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