According to A.J.Ayer I should essentially be redundant. I’m not going to go in to major detail, as I’ve spent a day doing Philosophy revision with year 13s but… in a VERY SMALL NUTSHELL language is only meaningful if it can be proven to be true or false; or if it can be verified through the senses – this is known as the verification principle. Therefore, as tings to do with God, religious experiences, philosophy, and moral decision making do not meet this criteria; and this is what I get paid to talk about and teach people about each day. Then according to Ayer everything I say as part of my job, when teaching topics, (obviously not when handling and analysing data) is MEANINGLESS!
As I may have mentioned, the husband has been on a cruise with ‘work’. He has now returned, and I have to say that one of the things that I have enjoyed the most about him being back (apart from the cups of tea) is the random and often pointless conversations. It took me ages to go to bed last night and get up and out this morning, because I’d suddenly think of something that I felt the need to tell him, which would often lead to further ‘discussion’. If I think about conversations I overhear between pupils at school, and conversations I was involved with, with my year 13s whilst revising Philosophy today, I’m not sure I would say that any of it was particularly life changing!
BUT would I say that any of it was meaningless?
Can we actually truly say that anything is meaningless? Something may not have a direct meaning in and of itself, but it will add to the meaning of someone’s greater life experience. One of the concepts we were talking about today was means and ends, how some things have an ends in and of themselves but other things are a means to a greater ends it turns out that one pupil was at the revision session today – jump forward a few steps – so she has a stable life and is able to buy and do what she wants to do.
I think we can look at conversation/language in the same way, but also our actions. If consider everything to have some meaning, even if we’re not sure what it is, won’t it affect the way we tackle it? Maybe?