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By Roy Harris

A thorough new concept of the language of technological know-how through eminent linguist Roy Harris. within the Semantics of technological know-how Roy Harris demanding situations a couple of long-accepted assumptions approximately technology and clinical discourse. in response to Harris, technological know-how - like paintings, faith and heritage - is without doubt one of the supercategories followed by means of sleek societies for explaining and justifying particular types of human task. Harris argues that those supercategories are themselves verbal constructs, and therefore language-dependent. every one supercategory has its personal semantics. The functionality of the supercategory is to combine what could rather be unconnected types of inquiry, and the results of such integrations is to attract a definite map of our highbrow global. one of the questions tackled are: Is arithmetic a language? Does the language of technology transcend the limits of logic? And, if that is so, on what foundation? In a wide-ranging ancient survey, Harris rejects the view that the Greeks and medieval thinkers had any proposal of medical inquiry that corresponds to our personal. He can pay shut consciousness to the early paintings of the Royal Society and to the twentieth-century semantic hindrance attributable to trying to combine Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics. This lucidly written publication can be of curiosity to all these engaged in linguistics, semiotics, philosophy of technological know-how and cultural experiences.

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20 The Semantics of Science In all these respects Aristotle’s characterization of names as ‘symbols’ emerges as unfortunate or misleading. It appears to make voluntary and deliberate agreement between individuals the basis of meaning. And this in turn is hard to reconcile with Aristotle’s evident commitment to ‘real definition’, a commitment he shared with his teacher, Plato, and Plato’s teacher, Socrates. One modern commentator describes that commitment as follows: The inventors of the notion of definition, Socrates and Plato, were obviously thinking only of the definition of things and not at all of the definition of words.

That had already been established for all to see by his selection of evidence and by the language of his book. Darwin’s great contribution to science as a supercategory was that he managed to get an unprovable and patently metaphysical thesis accepted at one stroke as an outstanding advance in scientific thinking because it offered a rational alternative to revealed religion. ) * * * Thales’ account of earthquakes is not even mentioned in Aristotle’s discussion of the subject in his Meteorology, much less lauded as the first scientific account.

Furthermore, the terms glossed are very simply explained, without any recourse to unfamiliar doctrines or assumptions. In short, there is no insuperable obstacle to the general reader who knows little or nothing about the details of biology as available to nineteenth-century students of the subject. Nor is the general thesis difficult to grasp. ) It is of some interest to note that of the two-hundred-odd terms that were regarded as requiring definitions in The Origin of Species there is not one that could be counted as crucial to the theory itself.

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