There are two main ways to resolve a purely verbal quarrel when talking about the different meanings of a key term. First, the various parties may not agree on the use of the term. For example, Teachers A and B might agree that they have provided two different pre-quote definitions of “best student,” and that both are legitimate, and they may agree that Cindy is the best student under one interpretation and that Betty is the best student among another interpretation. Verbal conflicts often arise from factual conflicts where differences of opinion are linked to differences of opinion on facts, not on importance. If anyone thinks That Sydney is the capital of Australia and others disagree, the disagreement is objective. 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. Our semi-annual journal is published by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Arkansas. Philosophical Topics publishes contributions to all areas of philosophy, each edition being devoted to problems in a field. More recently, there has been talk of individualization, introspection and free will.
However, there are situations in which the parties involved must choose a particular interpretation. For example, there may be only one prize to be awarded to the best student, so it is necessary to choose between the two definitions to decide whether Cindy or Betty should receive the award. This is therefore the second way to resolve a verbal dispute with two definitions – we opt for a precise definition by looking very carefully at the function it should serve. If, in the example on the exam, you have to choose between teacher definitions A and B, which you will choose the definition of and why? Can you give your own examples of factual and verbal conflicts? Discovery is the ability to be confused by simple things. This article is part of the JSTOR For Terms and Use collection, see our terms and conditions of sale Philosophical Topics © 2007 University of Arkansas Press Request Permissions The University of Arkansas Press promotes the mission of the University of Arkansas by publishing the scholarship and literature of lasting value. We organize a list of books by authors from different backgrounds that write for the specialized audience as well as for the general public in Arkansas and around the world. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles a month for free.