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Basic Structures of RealityEssays in Meta-Physics$
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Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841103

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841103.001.0001

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Matter and Meaning

Matter and Meaning

(p.192) 11 Matter and Meaning
Basic Structures of Reality

Colin McGinn

Oxford University Press

Physics has long distinguished itself as the exemplary science, being much admired and respected. Other disciplines have envied physics and tried to model themselves on it. The social sciences, in particular, have felt a strong urge to mimic the methods and techniques of physics. Its manifest success has had a huge impact on intellectual culture in general. Physics is the shining emblem of man's intellectual powers, his ascendancy over nature, his godlike status. When the physicist speaks, the world listens. Physics is, above all, influential. This chapter explores the influence of physics on philosophical work relating to language and meaning—one area in which the intellectual preeminence of physics might make itself felt.

Keywords:   physics, philosophy, language, meaning

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