Read another response by Charles Taliaferro
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My question concerns whether or not questions should be taken into consideration in understanding the answers to those questions. Let's take the following question and answer as an example: Q: What time are you leaving for your lecture today? A: I'm leaving at 2:00. The answer could be interpreted to mean that the the answerer is leaving for the lecture at 2:00 today. Yet the answer could also be interpreted to mean that the answerer is leaving at 2:00 on some day (not necessarily today) to go somewhere (not necessarily the lecture). Another example follows and it is this one upon which I ask your opinion. Given the following question and answer, which of the two possible interpretations of the answer would you choose if you were required to select only one without being able to provide an explanation of any kind. This is not a hypothetical question as I, along with other people, faced the exact same situation recently. Q: Is anybody in all of Athens wiser than Socrates? A: No. No one is wiser than Socrates. Intepretation #1: No one in all of Athens is wiser than Socrates. Interpretaton #2: No one in all of Athens or anywhere else is wiser than Socrates. Whether or not the question or answer is similar to or different than actual questions or answers appearing in history or literature is irrelevant and should not be taken into consideration in reaching your decision.