Language and Illumination: Studies in the History of by S. Morris Engel

By S. Morris Engel

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It was serviceable enough when restricted to the conceptual plane, but is a good deal less so when confronted with a real world of objects, one which language seems to reflect in a direct and not in the indirect way presupposed by Kant. Kant's answer to the objection I am raising - that if the concept were not congruent with the thing and should the thing contain more than the concept, the concept would not express the whole object and would therefore not be an adequate concept of it - is hardly satisfactory, for a person might still argue that we can never be sure that our concepts are adequate expressions of things or perfectly conform to their archetypes.

The method usually adopted is to speak of one in the idiom ordinarily appropriate to the other - a procedure which has for some time now been regarded as the cause of most of our perplexities in philosophy. This is not, of course, the way "isomorphism" is defined by those who make these claims, nor is this the name or term used at such occasions. " Expressions are systematically misleading, according to Ryle, when they are "couched in grammaticalor syntactical forms which are in a demonstrable way improper to the states of affairs which they record (or the alleged states of affairs which they profess to record)" ("Systematically Misleading Expressions," Essays on Logic and Language, pp.

32 Kant's "Refutation" of the Ontological Argument I cannot help feeling that this was Kant's plan; a repeated reading of the entire chapter has left me in no doubt that some such process of reasoning lies imbedded in its construction. (B) But although Kant's analysis, resting as I believe it does upon this two-stream theory of language, may seem plausible enough at the logical and conceptual level, it begins to show signs of strain when he turns in the second half of the paragraph to consider the relation of the nonreal predicate to its counterpart, the real predicate.

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