Linguistic Turn

It’s almost comical to me that modern philosophy had to undergo a linguistic “turn”. Modern philosophy began with a somewhat infantile rejection of discursive reasoning in favor of mathematics, intuition, and common sense. (Perhaps related to this history, I note with some chagrin that the first-listed meaning for “discursive” in several dictionaries is a pejorative one. I mean “pertaining to discourse”.) Even Leibniz and Spinoza had little interest in dialectic and meaning.

To me, meaning is the sea that we inhabit, the air that we breathe. Meaning permeates everything for us meaning-oriented creatures, including our experience of physical nature and matter. Meaning always requires interpretation. Aristotle and Kant were right that discursive reasoning is the true vocation of a philosopher. (See also What and Why; Dialogue.)