Davidson and a Twist of Wittgenstein: Metaontology, Self-Canceling Paradox, and Settled Insight

Davidson and a Twist of Wittgenstein: Metaontology, Self-Canceling Paradox, and Settled Insight The paper proposes with Davidson that the talk of metaontology is literally meaningless, but with Wittgenstein that it is so in a way that grants a unique type of insight. More specifically, it argues both that Davidson’s arguments have a cogency that is hard to dismiss, and also that, since his own arguments are metaontological, they are self-referential, and consequently in turn undermine their own meaning as well. The paper argues further that metaontological statements cannot be avoided. Consequently, this kind of statement constitutes an unavoidable self-referential paradox that means what it also excludes as capable of meaning. The result is a reinstatement of the meaning of ontological insight and in fact, the paper argues, a deep enrichment and also a particularly cogent justification of it. In addition, the logical peculiarity of the paradox involved has further useful consequences for the outcome of this justification, including a mutually illuminating commonality with some versions of metaethics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophia Springer Journals

Davidson and a Twist of Wittgenstein: Metaontology, Self-Canceling Paradox, and Settled Insight

Philosophia , Volume 46 (2) – Nov 24, 2017

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Epistemology; Ethics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
0048-3893
eISSN
1574-9274
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11406-017-9928-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The paper proposes with Davidson that the talk of metaontology is literally meaningless, but with Wittgenstein that it is so in a way that grants a unique type of insight. More specifically, it argues both that Davidson’s arguments have a cogency that is hard to dismiss, and also that, since his own arguments are metaontological, they are self-referential, and consequently in turn undermine their own meaning as well. The paper argues further that metaontological statements cannot be avoided. Consequently, this kind of statement constitutes an unavoidable self-referential paradox that means what it also excludes as capable of meaning. The result is a reinstatement of the meaning of ontological insight and in fact, the paper argues, a deep enrichment and also a particularly cogent justification of it. In addition, the logical peculiarity of the paradox involved has further useful consequences for the outcome of this justification, including a mutually illuminating commonality with some versions of metaethics.

Journal

PhilosophiaSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 24, 2017

References

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