I am preparing my lecture on the problem of personal identity today and my textbook has the following discussion:
I have read this passage many times of the past few years and I always just shake my head in disagreement. I don't see what the problem with this sentence is. First of all, in a poetic context, this sentence can make perfect sense. Imagine a poem about jealousy which ends with the line, "green ideas sleep furiously." My mind would conjure up a jealous lover's fitful sleep. I am not even sure I buy the claim that ideas cannot be a color. I take it that the author means that literally. And yet, many fancy fMRI machines can represent our neural activity with colors. Or, better yet, how about folks with Synesthesia?
I guess what I am getting at here is that I reject this kind of analysis of sentences, wherein what is implied is that we could derive some sort of perfect language purged of such "nonsensical sentences." While I know that Analytic Philosophy has become far more nuanced in its analysis of the logic of sentences, it is my response to this author's example of a nonsensical sentence that reminds me why I didn't take that philosophical route. (Although, Steve G, you taught me well, I respect the project, I do.)