The Verbal Disagreement


There are two main ways to resolve a purely verbal quarrel as soon as the different meanings of a key concept are highlighted. First, the various parties could agree not to agree on the use of the term. Thus, Teachers A and B could agree that they have provided two different definitions of “the best student”, and that they are both legitimate, and they can agree that Cindy is the best student under one interpretation and that Betty is the best student under a different interpretation. Who is right and who is 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 grade. For Teacher B, the best student is someone who has the highest number of A grades. Obviously, the student who meets the first definition does not need to be the same as the student who meets the second definition. This is an example of what we might call a purely verbal quarrel, where the apparent disagreement is not due to differences of opinion on the facts, but to the different understanding of the meaning of a key concept or concept. Verbal conflicts are often contrasted with factual conflicts, where differences of opinion are related to differing opinions about facts and not importance. If someone thinks Sydney is the capital of Australia and others disagree, the disagreement is factual. Can you give your own examples of factual and verbal quarrels? However, there are situations in which the parties concerned have to choose a specific interpretation. For example, there may be only one prize that can be awarded to the best student, and so it is necessary to choose between the two definitions to decide whether Cindy or Betty should receive the prize.

So this is the second way to resolve a verbal quarrel with two definitions – we choose to adopt a specific definition taking very carefully into account the function it is to serve. If, in the example discussed, you have to choose between the definitions of teachers A and B, which definition will you choose and why? If this is true, much of the debate about the ontology and metaphysics of art is totally misguided and relies on the confusion between semantic and substantive questions. Many other debates could be in the same boat and should be abandoned instead of solving them. But sometimes there are substantive quarrels nearby. “What free will is,” for example, may be a purely verbal question, but for any conception of free will, it may turn out to be a material question of whether it is necessary for legal or perhaps moral responsibility. There are two main ways to resolve a purely verbal quarrel when talking about the different meanings of a key concept. First, the various parties are unable to agree on the use of the term. For example, Teachers A and B might agree that they have provided two different pre-citation definitions of “best student” and that they are both legitimate, and they may agree that Cindy is the best student under one interpretation and Betty is the best student under another interpretation. From time to time, verbal conflicts can also have significant consequences and need to be resolved and not just diagnosed. There is at least one case where we can present a verbal argument with a prize: $3.5 billion. .