Good Argument? Bad Argument?

Jon Cogburn quotes from the postscript to McDowell’s Mind and World.

Questions like: “How is meaning possible?” express a sense of spookiness, and Wittgenstein’s point is that we should not indulge the sense of spookiness, but rather exorcise it. The question looks like an urgent one from the standpoint of a world-view that is inhospitable to meaning: a standpoint from which it looks like a task for philosophy to shoehorn the world into something as close as we can get to our previous conception of meaning. But philosophy’s task is rather to dislodge the assumptions that make it look difficult to find a place for meaning in the world.

I’m not so familiar with McDowell either, but this is an interesting quote since I’m always telling my students about how they need to learn to ask questions that are not unproductive. Of recent, we’ve been analyzing some “hot issue” types of arguments in my logic courses and many of my students have been rather taken by this argument in the video below. And they are kind of freaked out (which is good because nothing fazes them at all, really).

Thoughts about the risk management line of argumentation? Simply more Pascal? Or more James? Or, is the question loaded to begin with?

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