Diverse Meaningful Language and Nonsense Questions
Module 9 Opening Discussion
The purpose of the Opening Discussion is to allow us to directly think about a philosophical question or problem without the bias that might result from prior knowledge of the ideas and arguments of important philosophers.
This direct approach to a philosophical question or problem sets the stage for our inquiry into the philosophical theories and arguments covered in the module. It furthermore is the first step toward a greater self-awareness of our own individual intellectual biases and assumptions.
The Opening Discussion MUST be completed at the beginning of the module during the timeframe specified in the course calendar. Please make sure to carefully follow the directions provided and adhere to the deadlines specified in the course calendar.
Click on ‘Reply’ to create your Opening Discussion POST in response to the prompts below. In your post, please address the following:
As you recall, for Hume (and others), meaningful statements express claims about the world that are either true or false. But apart from stating facts about the world, what are some other ways in which we use language in a meaningful (non-nonsensical) way? Please make sure to provide concrete examples, and carefully explain your reasoning.
What do you think is the *criterion* to distinguish meaningful language from nonsense? What *exactly* distinguishes meaningful language from nonsense, taking into account the uses of meaningful language you discussed in your answer to question 1, above? Please make sure to provide concrete examples and carefully explain your reasoning.
Respond to at least two of your classmates. In order to respond to a classmate, open the classmate’s post and click ‘Reply’. Carefully explain why you agree or disagree with their examples for meaningful language vs. nonsense. Make sure to be specific and carefully explain your reasoning.
You must create your POST before you can reply to your classmates. Therefore, you should create your POST a day or two before the discussion deadline.
Your initial post should be about 200-300 words in length, and your responses to classmates should each be about 100-200 words in length, but feel free to be as detailed as you wish.
Your post and your responses must be written in proper English (correct spelling and grammar, and appropriate style). It is recommended to write your post and responses using a word processing program and copy and paste the completed post and responses. This will avoid losing work in case of internet outage, etc. You are encouraged to comment on your classmate’s feedback to your initial post and keep the (civilized!) discussion going.