Category Archives: Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards

It is maintained that a question does not make sense unless the questioner knows what kind of answer he is looking for. However, while the fact that the questioner knows the “outline” of the answer may be a strong or even conclusive reason for supposing that the question is meaningful, the converse does not hold. One can think of examples in which a question is meaningful although the person asking it did not know what a possible answer would look like. Thus somebody might ask “What is the meaning of life?” without being able to tell us what kind of answer would be relevant and at a later time, after falling in love for the first time, he might exclaim that he now had the answer to his question.

Paul Edwards, Why?, in Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, New York: Macmillan, 1967, vol. 8