CanadysPeak wrote:I cannot speak for, or against, Wuliheron, but I believe, as have many philosophers, that context is always tied to language. A sophist might get away with arguing that gravity is a language-dependent construct, but I cannot admit that acceleration is. Even my cat is able to detect acceleration. My cat, of course, does not know the word "up", and one (again, I think, a sophist) might argue that the use of that label automatically puts the whole question back into a contextual one. I would argue that, were we to wander down that road, we should soon find ourselves little different from babbling babies who repeat sounds because it pleases them, or relieves gas, or some such self-contained motive.
Everything cannot be held to be relative to context or we lose the ability to communicate verbally. At some point, a word or two must mean something.
What is a language dependent construct? Are you thinking of artificial languages, like computer languages, in which all its constructs refer to how they are constructed? Or perhaps something like "The cat is on the mat." which might depend on some artificial definition of 'cat', 'on', 'mat' and so forth that is merely conventional?
Pursuing this further, let me suppose neither of the above gets to what you have in mine. My supposition about language has been that it's not only a useful tool for dealing with the world, but one in which we can't escape, as it is pretty much an essential ingredient of our humanity. Now, my foray into literature has taught me that some (rather few) of us aren't well-equipped or possibly even feral with respect to our language capabilities, and it takes rather a genius like Faulkner to communicate it as he does in "The Sound the the Fury", or as Joyce or Wolff do in their narrative forms of writing, but I'm not such as to think that language in its utility is merely an artificially constructed game we are playing. Given this, I believe I can safely dissociate myself from having to take such cases into consideration.
So, when I regard words or sentences as having some meaning, I'm regarding that meaning as establishing a basis on which a word or a sentence, even in garbled forms, can be used to communicate or express something about the world in which we live. Said basis is sometimes conveyed in ways that are tailored to a particular context (as for example, in how a biologist understands the term 'selfish' when used to describe a gene). While it's true that some words have a number of senses (specific meanings), context could be a way of discerning which one is intended. Could this be what you mean? I find this idea of what a context is to be agreeable, and as such, I can't say as it should be something so significant that one would claim that every word requires one. Newly coined words (e.g., truthiness) usually don't have such contexts, though over time, they may acquire them because folks (or someone) may come to appropriate them for some new use.
However, if some aspect of the world can be regarded as a context, then, to use the example of gravity, 'up' and 'down' could be said to have no meaning in a zero-gravity environment. As previously indicated, I can't say whether wuliheron has this in mind, but I too would find this to be off-target, suggesting that there should be a better term than 'context' to describe this idea (i.e., it would be placed in a different category of relativity).