On 9/21/2011 7:52 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
A tautology might be 'empty' in some sense but it is still meaningful. Meaning
obtains from relations between many; absent the universe of relations meaning vanishes.
Consider a simple dictionary. each word entry in it is defined by some set of other
words in some relation to each other. Consider a dictionary where each different entry
had an identical set of words and relations as its definition. What would any word 'mean'?
Consider a dictionary (like real dictionaries) in which every word has a different set of
words in its definition. And further suppose that (unlike real dictionaries) if you
started at any word and looked up the definition of every word in its definition and then
did so recursively you would eventually have looked up every word in the dictionary.
Would you know the meaning of any of the words? I'd say you would not until you had an
ostensive definition of a sufficient subset of the words.
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