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

Philosophia 46 (2):255-274 (2018)
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.
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-017-9928-7
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References found in this work BETA

Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 2004 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.
Whose Justice? Which Rationality?Alasdair Macintyre - 1988 - Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (2):363-363.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):578-578.
Zettel.Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. E. M. Anscombe & G. H. von Wright - 1968 - Philosophical Quarterly 18 (71):176-177.

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