Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 7:04 AM
To: Everything List
Subject: Re: Maudlin & How many times does COMP have to be false before its
On Feb 17, 8:52 pm, benjayk <benjamin.jaku...@googlemail.com> wrote:
Probably I should just say that every word has a referent.
Clearly not, e.g unicorn.
I invite you to read a good book on Semiotic Theory, such as that of
Umberto Ecco. The point is that even the word "unicorn" has a referent, even
if that referent is some imagination. Is a cartoon drawing of a horse with a
single horn protruding from its head not recognized as a unicorn? If we are
going to literally and seriously argue that only nouns can refer to actual
physical entities, then we are disallowing for any conversations regarding
the dearly departed or anything that is out of sensory range of the
conversants (among many more).
Referents do not need to be autonomously instantiated as physical beings
to be referents. Following the same reasoning numbers do not need to exist
as autonomous entities either, all that is really required is that
interlocutors can comprehend each other's implied meanings. We seem to be
having another instance of the debate between nominalism and universalism...
Parenthetically, what does this have to do with the subject of Maudlin
and COMP's veracity?
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