Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Meaning change/semantic change: this is about the question whether the meaning of the terms of a theory change in the light of new knowledge. If they do, problems with incommensurability may arise. See also reference, incommensurability, progress, comparisons.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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I 293f
Meaning Change/Rorty: Question: Did the Greeks refer to prudence with the expression Sophrosyne? Rorty: This question can be rejected with the hint that there is for expectation; in a completely different culture this expression would be implantable; no particular reason. We have to make ourselves familiar with the exotic language game.
  In the case of science, however, such an attitude seems unnatural. Here we want to say that out there is something, laws to which one should refer or at least one has referred to.
Rorty: "whiggistic" winner perspective: tells us, Aristotle spoke in reality of gravity, when he spoke of a natural settling movement, sailors would have, when they spoke of unicorns, referred to the horns of narwhals in reality, "heat flow" is a misleading description of the energy transfer between dancing molecules.
I 301
Meaning/truth/existence/Change of Theories/Meaning Change/Quine/Rorty: Quineans would say, the question, whether they meant the same back then, is not raised. - It's more about the truth values. - Rorty: a) Aristotle said something wrong about movement, or b) He said something true, but that was not movemnt.
RortyVsAyers: with this, one will not get far if one does no longer believe in concepts like intellectual property etc. Ayers exaggerates the contrast between our and his concepts.
I 315 ff
Semantic change/change of theory/reference/Rorty: solution: the functioning of an expression should be better seen as the picking out of objects, than as the description of reality. - So either a) reference as a basis, or b) also accepting reference as conventional. - Searle-trawson-Criterion: "What would make most of his opinions true."
I 318
Solution: distinction reference: a) philosophical - b) "Speaking about" (common sense) - Rorty: it is only about existence. - Therefore, no criterion for reference possible.
I 321
RortyVsReference Theory/Theory of Reference: 1. Semantic search for the objects is hopeless. - 2. Hopeless: to strive for an epistemological refutation of skepticism.
III 103
Meaning Change: Adorno/Horkheimer/Rorty: pro - PutnamVs.
IV 131
Term/Meaning Change/Conceptual Change/Change of Theories/Rorty: terms that got a new twist through a thinker: E.g. Aristotle: ousia - Descartes: res - Hume: impression - Wittgenstein: Game - Einstein: simultaneity - Bohr Atom.
VI 361
Interpretation/Rorty: in such approximation efforts, the procedure is obviously anachronistic. But when that happens consciously, there is no objection.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Ro I
R. Rorty
Der Spiegel der Natur Frankfurt 1997

R. Rorty
Philosophie & die Zukunft Frankfurt 2000

R. Rorty
Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität Frankfurt 1992

R. Rorty
Eine Kultur ohne Zentrum Stuttgart 1993

Ro V
R. Rorty
Solidarität oder Objektivität? Stuttgart 1998

R. Rorty
Wahrheit und Fortschritt Frankfurt 2000

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-05-24