Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson presents a highly original and broad-ranging investigation of the way we get to grips with the world conceptually, and the way that philosophical problems commonly arise from this. Words such as colour, shape, solidity exemplify the commonplace conceptual tools we employ to describe and order the world around us. But the world's goods are complex in their behaviors and we often overlook the subtle adjustments that our evaluative terms undergo as their usage becomes gradually adapted to different forms of supportive circumstance. Wilson not only explains how these surprising strategies of hidden management operate, but also tells the astonishing story of how faulty schemes and great metaphysical systems sometimes spring from a simple failure to recognize the innocent wanderings to which our descriptive words are heir. Wilson combines traditional philosophical concerns about human conceptual thinking with illuminating data derived from a large variety of fields including physics and applied mathematics, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. Wandering Significance offers abundant new insights and perspectives for philosophers of language, mind, and science, and will also reward the interest of psychologists, linguists, and anyone curious about the mysterious ways in which useful language obtains its practical applicability.