It is common to ask what something means, or what someone means by something, but rare to ask what it means for something to mean something. What does ‘meaning’ mean? This is arguably the most fundamental question a human enquirer can ask, and it is quite difficult to answer. The prevailing view in the philosophy of language is that a sentence's meaning is defined by its truth-conditions, or the conditions under which it would be true.
Established in 2001 by Donald Mackay, father of Kathy ’77, in tribute to Kathy’s engaging and generous spirit, this fund supports the University Fellows program. Preference is granted to students completing projects in the field of philosophy or religion.
I propose that the practice of chemistry often reduces its subject matter into a vacuous form of itself; that we erroneously equate truth values assigned to states of matter with forms so mitigated or changed that they are no longer ontologically dependent on—nor can they feasibly describe—the original substance in question. During this fellowship, I examined objects in general and how their identities and demands on existence affect the types of ontological commitments we can justifiably devote ourselves to.