Properties of the Metaphysical Language

  • Louis O. Kattsoff


Once it was the custom to speak of metaphysics as a system. and much was said about the nature and structure of systems The years have brought it about that we now speak of language — but the basic notion still remains: metaphysics must be systematic and if it takes the form of a language it will be, of course. After all that has been said in the preceding chapters, it would appear that we ought first to present a series of data and then try to systematize them; or to put the matter in linguistic terminology, to construct a language which will express the data and enable us to do certain other things. But there are a number of matters that need to be considered in order to throw light upon our problem. There is, of course, the problem of the method of obtaining the data, and also that of verification of statements. There is the problem of stating the basic terms and propositions and that of the relation between basic and derived propositions. A consideration of the structure of a language may help us in deciding where our problems lie and how to go about dealing with them.


Semantical Rule Scientific Language Protocol Statement Unique Language Ideal Language 
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  1. 1.
    Notice that these criteria are concerned rather with explicating what it means to be an ideal language with the emphasis on the fact that languages are made for the purpose of communication. In this respect the criteria differ, e.g. from those of Bergmann in “Logical Positivism” in A History of Philosophical Systems,edited by V. Ferm (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), pp. 421 ff. and in “A Note on Ontology,” Philosophical Studies,I, 6, 89 ff, December, 1950. Bergmann’s criteria however are but special cases under these.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Carnap, Introduction to Semantics ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1942 ), P. 4.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    For a discussion of a similar idea in philosophy of science cf. H. Margenau. Nature of Physical Reality (New York: McGraw Hill, 1950 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis O. Kattsoff
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaUSA

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