At that time, considerations pointing to the limits of what can be accomplished within the parameters of that game would have made for particularly important and interesting reading. An interesting corollary is that nativists should be highly skeptical of the possibility for extraterrestrial communication. Does the Dionysian corpus assert or perform such ineffability? This could be due to any of a variety of irremediable intellectual, perceptual, motivational, etc. I have no vested interest in making sense of this notion. Moreover, most mystical reports are noncommittal between these two option. Call it and other snapshots of L taken at different times natural shmanguages. Certainly Alston regards his perceptual theory as a defense of mystically-based beliefs.
In the discussion of the argument from epistemic boundedness pp. The more interesting question, of course, is whether there are ineffabilities with respect to complete natural languages. If creatures from another planet flew to the earth in sophisticated spaceships and proceeded to transform the planet by building complex structures, for example, then even if we could not translate their speech, we would still have good reason for believing that they possess an alternative conceptual scheme. Thus the refutation of the translatability thesis, which took up the bulk of the previous section, is also a refutation of the incoherence thesis. Either one of these characteristics alone could justify our describing the mystical state as ineffable. This sounds like a clear and unambiguous denial.
But neither does he say anything that implies that all Mentalese thoughts must have a linguistic equivalent. Both of them involve the claim that we are able to understand or come to know certain truths which it is beyond the power of language to express. This may be due to some background assumptions relating. But this is not an argument that Alston deploys. Bennett-Hunter is not the first philosopher to try and map this distracted field, but he is remarkable in the width and sympathy of his approach to the highly various thinkers whom he invokes to illuminate it. Well, there is this principle: given a dichotomous category system, more things belong to the more numerous category than to the less numerous one does anybody want to disagree with that? Consider now the enormous conjunctive fact F consisting of the fact that defies expression in any human language, together with the fact that defies expression in any Plutonian language, and so on for every nomologically possible type of being relative to some exhaustive taxonomy of beings.
But what about ineffable mystic insights? Assuming that the practices of science are rational, these conclusions cannot both be right. The first point to be made is that the substantive claim and the metaclaim are logically independent. Each strand provides a rather hospitable environment for the hypothesis that the set-theoretic universe is ineffable, which is our target in this paper, although the motivation is different in each case. Here are representative claims from Asian, ancient European, and modern mystical sources: Brahman has neither name nor form, transcends merit and demerit, is beyond time, space, and the objects of senseexperience. In this sense, their inadequacy to express quite ordinary experiences seems to me no different than their inadequacy to express what is considered to be a mystical experience.
These are 1 the class of languages that nomologically can be conceived by a human being human conceivability ; 2 the class of languages that can be conceived by any nomologically possible being nomological conceivability ; and 3 the class of all languages that can be conceived by any logically possible being logical conceivability. The apparent contradiction is adequately explained by the fact that the expression X is ambiguous. However, divine ineffability is part of a traditional conception of God that has been widely rejected among analytic philosophers of religion for the past few decades. However, non-Platonists may still be plagued by some qualms. The analysis has shown that there is no entity that cannot be described. The status of the underdetermination argument remains unsettled. To place beliefs based on mystical experiences in the same category as perceptually-based beliefs is to put them in good company.
But either P is true or not-P is true. That is to say, one has to defend the view that the expressive resources of English are acquired in an invariable developmental sequence, so that all children go through exactly the same intermediate stages of language acquisition. As defensible as this may seem to us as contemporary Anglo-Americans, it matters because it represents what, to put it baldly, is a kind of implicit assumption that this represents the sum and substance of what does and should interest a contemporary philosopher. Rest is the absence of movement; but so is movement the absence of rest. This result rules out a particular type of ineffability. This solution also supports their repudiation of the thesis of underdetermination. Hence the convoluted extraterrestrial scenario which would arguably provide empirical evidence for human ineffability is of no help when it comes to nomological ineffability.
The first part looks at the question of whether ineffability is a coherent idea. There are two senses in which this might be so. In the set-theoretical argument, the insights are readily and universally available—who could fail to see that the set of all sets that are not members of themselves has various mundane properties, such as containing the set of all natural numbers as a member? The grade of ineffability appropriate to the conclusion depends on the strength of the empiricist assumption. Then for every nomologically possible type of being, there is a fact which cannot be expressed in any language that it could possibly use. What is ultimately at stake here is the status of the correspondence theory of truth. Presenting a fascinating analysis of the idea of what can't be said, this book ascertains whether the notion of there being a truth, or a state of affairs, or knowledge that can't be expressed linguistically is a coherent notion.
Are the expected epistemic and pragmatic payoffs sufficient to warrant an extensive search? For example, it has been claimed that the practice of theory conjunction presupposes realism, and that scientists' use of multiple and incompatible models presupposes some form of instrumentalism. I will have more to say about the open-endedness of natural languages in the section on unrepresentability in Chapter 4. Suppose that the inductive argument is accepted. But the third class—the class of all languages that can be conceived by any logically possible being—is coextensive with the class of all logically possible languages, for surely there is a logically possible God who can conceive of every logically possible language. The idea is that nonconceptual experiences cause the experiencer to come to know the ineffable truth about what the world looks like without the filtering effect of her conceptual apparatus.
The first way is to argue that we have independent grounds for expecting that a testimonial is likely to be true, even if we know nothing else about it except that it is a testimonial. In relation to subjects such as ineffability and mysticism, the assumption is mistaken, not only because contemporary non-English philosophy has been omitted, along with old, still viable points-of-view, but also because our contemporary concern with the philosophical analysis of ineffability and mysticism is exceeded, I think, in variety and intensity by those of India, China, and Japan. A definite danger of comparative religion is that by concentrating on establishing and exploring inter-religious likenesses, it may obscure the radical unlikeness of religious phenomena. McGinn concedes that theoretical concepts referring to unobservable entities are permitted, citing molecules as an example. My suggestion that ineffable beliefs can have effable consequences provides a way out of this dilemma for perennialists: ineffable insights may be individuated by their effable consequences. Only the argumentative details are different. Perhaps solving the riddle of the universe requires one more neuron than, de facto, anyone will ever have.
Is there any other probative scenario for nomological ineffability? The pursuit of the answer quickly embroils us 50 Ineffability—the very idea in tiresome technicalities which turn out to be inessential to my ultimate position on these problems. The first, substantive question is discussed in Section 2, Section 3 and Section 4. If a sensory experience has no linguistic label associated to it in a particular subject, then no linguistic description can token, or activate, that state in the subject. This is the realm of ordinary discursive knowledge, a sample inhabitant of which is the hypothesis that some apples are red. This process would be counted by a Feiglian as an independent test of the conclusion, for the expert merely provides the necessary ingredients for the test—her role could as well be played by a nonintentional process, e.