Saturday, September 29, 2007

Natalie's Comments

Williamson Chapter 2

This is the argument that Williamson gives in point 3, pg. 22:

(1) The original question is not about thought or language

(2) To answer the original question you have to assess rival theories of vagueness in thought and language.

(3) We cannot get an appropriate answer from doing (2)

(4) Therefore, the original question is surreptitiously about thought or language.

It seems that (4) doesn’t follow from (1), (2) and (3), because it seems the case that you could exchange it with (4a) and it would seem to be true.

(4a) Therefore, the original question, because it is a question and not a statement, cannot be philosophically analyzed.

Also it seems that (2) isn’t definitely true. If this is the case then it doesn’t matter that (3) because we could find a different way of answering it or if we accept (4a) then answering the original question doesn’t tell us anything.

I’m really not sure on any of this, I just find it weird that Williamson feels he needs this argument to conclude that the original question is secretly about thought or language because then he is accepting premise (3); that we will never be able to answer it appropriately, which kind of seems like a copout.
I could also be taking this totally wrong because I just don’t know enough of the background yet to comment on his second point in chapter 2.

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