I find this philosophers’ preference <more confusing>

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
By "I find this philosophers’ preference more confusing", is Dawkins criticising philosophers (including Bertrand Russell)?

The grammar is not very clear to me because at first Dawkins appears to praise the use of "sensible", esp. by Russell. Then he suddenly changes the direction of his thinking.

The thread is about "more ocnfusing": Does it, in this grammatical structure, compares the Dawkins' idea and the philosophers' idea and point out: Dawkins' idea is clears than the philosophers' idea?

The problem is that "more confusing" sounds like criticising both: My idea is confusing, but yours is worse - more confusing. Thus it is not clear whether Dawkins is making critism or complimenting... It is really confusing to me.

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Evolving Language Nowadays we normally use ‘sensible’ to mean the opposite of silly. Bertrand Russell, in his History of Western Philosophy is very fond of the older meaning: ‘apparent to the senses.’ I find this philosophers’ preference more confusing than my HG Wells examples

Source: Richard Dawkins tweeted 28 minutes ago
 
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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, he doesn't praise Russell. 'Fond of' presumably means Russell frequently uses it. Dawkins contrasts the current meaning with the older meaning that Russell often used. This preference (by philosophers including Russell) is confusing, because it is not the normal, current meaning. As I don't know what the Wells examples are, I can't really comment on 'more confusing', but presumably Wells uses it in the modern meaning, not the philosophers' meaning.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Criticizes himself? No, why? He says he finds one usage confusing. Actually he says 'more confusing': do you then think the other usage must also be confusing, even though he has to use it himself (because there are only two meanings to choose from)? But he says it's more confusing than Wells's use* - without knowing what that is, or whether Dawkins entirely agrees with Wells, I don't know what to comment.

    * I'm assuming 'my HG Wells examples' means "the examples I am quoting from Wells", not "my made-up examples mentioning Wells", so this is Wells's use, not Dawkins's.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Sure. Getting conscious ignorance is good, as James Clerk Maxwell pointed out more than one hundred years ago.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    By "I find this philosophers’ preference more confusing", is Dawkins criticising philosophers (including Bertrand Russell)?

    The grammar is not very clear to me because at first Dawkins appears to praise the use of "sensible", esp. by Russell. Then he suddenly changes the direction of his thinking.

    The thread is about "more ocnfusing": Does it, in this grammatical structure, compares the Dawkins' idea and the philosophers' idea and point out: Dawkins' idea is clears than the philosophers' idea?

    The problem is that "more confusing" sounds like criticising both: My idea is confusing, but yours is worse - more confusing. Thus it is not clear whether Dawkins is making critism or complimenting... It is really confusing to me.

    ********************

    Evolving Language Nowadays we normally use ‘sensible’ to mean the opposite of silly. Bertrand Russell, in his History of Western Philosophy is very fond of the older meaning: ‘apparent to the senses.’ I find this philosophers’ preference more confusing than my HG Wells examples

    Source: Richard Dawkins tweeted 28 minutes ago
    This reads like part of a complex counter argument or introduction and without knowing the direction of the whole article it is impossible to predict where this is leading.

    I would however point out that "confusing" is not necessarily an insult coming from a philosopher. He may end up unpacking or analyzing the other person's ideas and find them useful. Saying confusing might even be a rhetorical strategy to introduce an explication for the reader.

    Actually reading it again the statement seems very simple. He is surprised that Russell is using the old fashioned usage of sensible (sense data) rather than the modern usage (practical). But we don't know why he feels this way.
     
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