RE: [OPE] language, science, and etymology

Date: Thu Mar 26 2009 - 09:20:38 EDT

> Ordinary language conveys many outdated and inaccurate ideas.
Paul C:
Sometimes that's the case, but generally specific words and expressions
have commonly accepted meaning(s) within a particular culture and
profession. As we've seen in our discussions on value, that's not always
the case. What is most important from a scientific communications
perspectivde is that one has agreement on the current meaning of a term
or at least current differences in meaning, not its original meaning.
That is often a difficult ideal to attain since language arises and is
transformed by specific social relations (including class, race, nationality,
gender, etc.).
> Science follows a methodological materialism, it seeks to understand
> phenomena as a result of natural material causes.
Isn't Etymology a science?
You pointed earlier to the origins of the word "spirit", but a scientific
approach is not simply to identify the original meaning of a term and to
then reject the use of the term if the original meaning is unscientific and
out-dated. Rather, a scientific approach is to examine the ways in which language
has changed during different time periods in different cultures and
sub-cultures. Hence, while it's perfectly legitimate (and, sometimes, entertaining)
to examine the original use of a term, it's *outdated and unscientific*
to simply reject that term because its meaning has evolved over time.
In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Thu Mar 26 09:22:32 2009

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