Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour

Paperback | March 7, 2008

byMark Wilson

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Mark Wilson presents a highly original and broad-ranging investigation of the way we get to grips with the world conceptually, and the way that philosophical problems commonly arise from this. Words such as colour, shape, solidity exemplify the commonplace conceptual tools we employ todescribe and order the world around us. But the world's goods are complex in their behaviors and we often overlook the subtle adjustments that our evaluative terms undergo as their usage becomes gradually adapted to different forms of supportive circumstance. Wilson not only explains how thesesurprising strategies of hidden management operate, but also tells the astonishing story of how faulty schemes and great metaphysical systems sometimes spring from a simple failure to recognize the innocent wanderings to which our descriptive words are heir. Wilson combines traditional philosophical concerns about human conceptual thinking with illuminating data derived from a large variety of fields including physics and applied mathematics, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. Wandering Significance offers abundant new insights and perspectives forphilosophers of language, mind, and science, and will also reward the interest of psychologists, linguists, and anyone curious about the mysterious ways in which useful language obtains its practical applicability.

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From the Publisher

Mark Wilson presents a highly original and broad-ranging investigation of the way we get to grips with the world conceptually, and the way that philosophical problems commonly arise from this. Words such as colour, shape, solidity exemplify the commonplace conceptual tools we employ todescribe and order the world around us. But the wor...

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Philosophy and a Fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:696 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.42 inPublished:March 7, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199532303

ISBN - 13:9780199532308

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Table of Contents

1. Wide Screen2. Lost Chords3. Classical Glue4. Theory Facades5. The Practical Go of It6. The Virtues of Cracked Reasoning7. Linguistic Wayfaring8. Song of the Master Idea9. Semantic Mimicry10. The Critic of Nature and Genius

Editorial Reviews

`Wandering Significance is a brilliant and highly original contribution to some of the main classical problems of philosophy, employing a novel (and very learned) combination of philosophy of language with the history and philosophy of science. Wilson thereby presents a radically new versionof a "neo-pragmatist" approach to concepts and conceptual mastery (in the tradition of Dewey, Quine, and the later Wittgenstein) which far surpasses all previous versions in depth and specificity of detail. A major intellectual breakthrough.'Michael Friedman, Stanford University