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Lecture 16

Lecture 16 WISDOM

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York University
PHIL 1100
David Stamos

Lecture 16 The Meaning of the Questions of Life – John Wisdom  Logical Positivism  Verifiability principle  In practise Specify if statement is true  In principle - 1965 - If not saying something meaningful, just expressing how they feel - Wisdom doesn‟t explain much he turns to possible meaning to the questions - Many philosophers got sick and tired of “what is the meaning of life?” (gets annoying)  An Absurd Question  “Every human being has a mother” (analogy) - Meaning of life is a meaningful question  Looks for different meaning of meanings (ambiguous) - Often the word meaning is used to refer to something before/after/outside (example: a fight and one says what is the meaning of this quarrel, meaning what is the cause) - The meaning is so common, that if we might think “what is the meaning of life meaning?” - The meaning of life is “afterlife” (why?)  Saying this life is meaningless, only meaningful if it is preparing for the afterlife - Claims “meaning” is not the only meaning(s) of meaning - “What is the significance?” (meaning of meaning)  Example: a play and says “what does it mean?”  Asking a real question not an absurd one - Wisdom thinks it‟s a powerful analogy  Difference we can watch the whole play, not the whole universe - Words can give answers not capture (only indicate) - Words can‟t answer the question only indicate - “Indeed surely the historians, the scientists, the prophets, the dramatists and the poets have said much which will help any man who asks himself: Is the drama of time meaningless as a tale told by an idiot? Or is it not meaningless? And if it is not meaningless is it a comedy or tragedy, a triumph or a disaster, or is it a mixture in which sweet and bitter are not ever mixed?” (page 223) Lectur
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