If a equals a (A=A) and a equals b (A=B), how come A=A ≠ A=B. What informs A through B which A doesn't inform itself?
Picked from: Conversations with History - John Perry on YouTube. (Link button does not work)
As for economists, don't get me started
I'm sitting back, just nodding my head in agreement. I don't know that I'd say that philosophy is completely useless, but mostly out of politeness.
Thanks Kris, Herr Frege is added to my "to read" list.
Even looks like Russell has taken a beating in that debate, which isn't commonplace. Btw, it's reminds me about the whole können/denken debate which don't have good immediate translations into English.
As a side note: In Norwegian it is kunne/tenke (from verbal German) and Sinnet/Betenkning. Especially interesting is Bedankung, since the most common usage of the word is when knowledge based game shows (i.e. $64k Question) contestants gets betenkningstid (concideration or thought time). Can't recall hearing such a phrase in English game shows I used to watch in my game show addicted youth. Time to concider is not exactly the same as concideration time, just as schooltime is not exactly the same as time for school. The derivational suffix '-tion' changes the meaning of the base word.
"which should hold up in most contexts."
I wouldn't say philosophical discourse would classefy as "most context". :)
foreign word = non-integrated word from a foreign language, spelt as is, e.g. E café (from French); Sp. whisk(e)y (from English) (*the word whisky/whiskey in fact comes from the Scots or Irish Gaelic phrase "uisce beatha" which is a calque of the Latin "aqua vitae", water of life); E weltanschauung (< G Weltanschauung); It. mouse ‘computer device’ (< E mouse ‘rodent; computer device’).
The words we hear first are the words we know the best meaning of because we have seen examples for more years than the ones we learn in high school. Especially foreign language words. It's more difficult to get your point across in another language because you botch the very meanings of words, or you have no relation. There are, literally, non-translatable words that you will never understand until someone shows you to it.
And that's why words matter because they have meaning that can't be expressed through translation. If we are speaking different languages, it makes it more diffult to understand eachother. Specific words for less than though out items are easy to translate, for those that involve behavior or actions.
You could just take this germanophone ESL person's opinion. But I'm sure your mother has a more valid opinion than me.
" I asked for a reference to the debate that you mentioned."
Here's the reference I thought was quite obvious though I obfuscateded it to see if you had read what you linked. Russell, which is pretty much always dead on, was dead wrong about concepts which are very Germanic. It makes it difficult to have deep thoughts on words which you can't fully understand.
From the very Wiki article you yourself served with the approriate underlining:
The distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung (usually but not always translated sense and reference, respectively) was an innovation of the German philosopher and mathematician Gottlob Frege in his 1892 paper Über Sinn und Bedeutung (On Sense and Reference),
There is no standard translation which fully explains the words. And philosophy is all about getting the meaning of words right. Language, especially if you don't speak it well, makes that more difficult to grasp concepts which is exactly what you founded your initial counterargument on - argument from ignorance about meaning of non-literal translation of words:
"I've never heard of that as a debate. (,but) Both words have a very literal translations into English, which should hold up in most contexts."
No they don't, and just because you haven't heard about it doesn't mean I'm claiming there's a teapot out there.
Stole this one from the interwebz:
An eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics.
The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board, and said:
"Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist ."
Fingers flew, erasers erased, notebooks were filled in furious fashion.
Some students wrote over 20 pages in one hour, attempting to refute the existence of the chair.
One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.
Weeks later, when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an "A" when he had barely written anything at all. Word soon spread when it was learned what his answer had been. His answer had consisted of only two words:
-- "What chair?"
"If a equals a (A=A) and a equals b (A=B), how come A=A ≠ A=B. What informs A through B which A doesn't inform itself?"
Doesn't this all simply depend upon how you define "equal?" I see no reason why, philosophically, one couldn't argue with equal validity A=A = A=B or A=A ≠ A=B.
Im having no difficulty understanding what you are saying.You said "I would have chosen Bertrand Russel as a better example of a philosopher who also did useful work". Why did you bother even saying this if you werent making a distinction between the two? Surely you dont mean to belittle the contributions Descartes has made to the world?
You are missing the point of philosophy. You think that philosophy is just saying 'I think therefore I am' for no reason. What you fail to realise is that these questions highlight issues which become important when thinking of more complex problems.
Its like the schoolboy who criticises matrices because he cannot see the point or the person who criticises theoretical mathematics/physics even though they may have great purpose in the future. Those astronomers who first looked up at the sky would have been considered as doing something pointless... but only now, thousands of years later are we starting to reach up into space.
Likewise, all these theories and philosophies which you see no point in can literally change the world and the way that you see it. Look at Communism or Neoliberal ideology.
Im not sure what your occupation is, but people live their lives outside of the laboratory and all their interactions, behaviours and beliefs are at the end of the day founded on philosophy.
I dont know what more I can say to make you a bit more open minded about the topic except to say that if all the great men of science throughout history have seen some importance in philosophy, then maybe it is you who cannot read. :p