Comments on “So how does meaningness work?”


I beg to differ. What is food

Ronyon's picture

I beg to differ. What is food? Roaches? Twinkies? Georgia mud?
What it means could be defeat, if one has an eating disorder, or a source of satiation or nothing at all, because you acquire and eat it with no significant thought or effort. As for what it means to others , that too is open to subjective meaning.
None of whic is to say that food could not be measure objectively, though the very definitions of food and measurement would have to be viewed subjectively.
I am looking for you arguments against meaning being subjective, and I am not seeing any thing convincing. Meaning without subjectivity seems like taste without tongues. You can measure the saltiness, sweetness, bitterness etc, but you cannot judge the tastiness,be cause determining tastyness requires a tongue attached to a mind, and any given mind might have an entirely different subjective view of said tastiness.
Even the affair had to be couched in terms specific to the individual, some people have affairs and think little of it, and in some social circumstances the same actions would not be an affair at all.
What could be more subjective than that?
I will keep looking, I hope to find a compelling case against existentialism,but I haven’t seen one here yet.

Not here yet

Hi, thanks for the comment. I haven’t written the analysis of existentialism yet. (This book is a work in progress.)

I don’t claim that there are no individual differences, nor that subjectivity is not an aspect of meaningness. Rather, that meaning is inherently interactional, so one has to consider both aspects of self and other—subjective and objective.

sociological definition of culture

One of the main definitions of culture used in sociology, at least as I learned it, is very very similar to how you’re defining meaningness: culture = shared patterns of meaning-making. When people start finding meaning in the same things, they’ve formed a culture. And they teach those meanings, and embed them in institutions, etc as the culture matures.

If you think it would be useful, I’d be happy to try to dig up some of the actual material in which these ideas are developed. It has been awhile :)


(p.s. enjoying the book + some of your other articles, thanks!)

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This page is in the section Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The next page in this section is Schematic overview: meaningness.

The previous page is Extreme examples, eternalism and nihilism.

This page’s topics are Meaningness and Starting points.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2019 David Chapman.