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A Verbal Disagreement

Such questions and arguments may be more frequent in philosophy, but they are also found in other disciplines. This is an important example of biology. The concept of species is one of the central concepts of biology, comparable in the importance of genes, cells and organisms, some of the central units at lower levels of biological organization. Yet there is a lively debate about how to spell the concept of species: Richard L. Mayden, for example, has noticed that in contemporary biology, at least 22 different species concepts are used. At first glance, different solutions correspond only to different provisions on the importance of the concept, and the choice of one of them is a matter of theoretical comfort and not discovery. However, some participants in the species debate believe that the problem can be solved by intelligent metaphysical argument. If, in a way, all these questions are only verbal, it would seem that verbal debates can sometimes go completely unnoticed by participants in a debate, which can lead to unnecessary debates (potentially millennia), differences of opinion and research. A particularly poignant formulation from this point of view was proposed by David Hume: Chalmers proposes the method of elimination, a three-step method for detecting verbal quarrels. Suppose you don`t agree with a person about the truth of an S sentence, perhaps because of a disagreement about the meaning of a T term.

The philosopher David Chalmers gives the crude and finite characterization of verbal conflicts: Can you give your own examples of factual and verbal conflicts? So who`s right and who`s wrong? In a way, both teachers are right because they seem to be working with two different definitions of “best students.” For Teacher A, the best student is the one with the highest average score. For Teacher B, the best student is someone with the highest number of A grades. Clearly, the student who meets the first definition should not be the same as the student who meets the second definition. This is an example of a purely verbal confrontation where the obvious disagreement is not due to a disagreement on the facts, but to a different understanding of the meaning of a key concept or concept. There are still a few questions we discuss in Verbal Disputes II: is the method of elimination absolutely reliable, or are there sometimes false positives and negatives? And are there cases where undetected verbal disputes do more harm than they simply provoke unnecessary discussion and waste scientific resources? (Spoiler: yes.) This question has given rise to many metaphysical debates among some philosophers. But other philosophers and many non-philosophers have little patience for these questions. You are a blow to the verbal sophistry: we feel that we all know the facts, it is just a matter of deciding what exactly we hold under “identity” and how we want to describe those facts. Many other philosophical questions are equally flat, but perhaps to varying degrees: what is free will? What does that mean? What is an action? What is a law? What is art? In general, many “What X” questions create the feeling that they are little or purely verbal. “Intuitive is a verbal quarrel between two parties when both parties agree on the relevant facts concerning an area of concern and are divided only on the language used to describe that area. In such a case, there is a sense that the two parties “do not really disagree”, that is, they are not really divided on the area of concern and are divided only on language issues. Sidelle, A.