Inspired by the early Wittgenstein’s concept of nonsense (meaning that which lies beyond the limits of language), we define two different, yet complementary, types of nonsense: formal nonsense and pragmatic nonsense. The simpler notion of formal nonsense is initially defined within Tarski’s semantic theory of truth; the notion of pragmatic nonsense, by its turn, is formulated within the context of the theory of pragmatic truth, also known as quasi-truth, as formalized by da Costa and his collabo…

Read moreInspired by the early Wittgenstein’s concept of nonsense (meaning that which lies beyond the limits of language), we define two different, yet complementary, types of nonsense: formal nonsense and pragmatic nonsense. The simpler notion of formal nonsense is initially defined within Tarski’s semantic theory of truth; the notion of pragmatic nonsense, by its turn, is formulated within the context of the theory of pragmatic truth, also known as quasi-truth, as formalized by da Costa and his collaborators. While an expression will be considered formally nonsensical if the formal criteria required for the assignment of any truth-value (whether true, false, pragmatically true, or pragmatically false) to such sentence are not met, a (well-formed) formula will be considered pragmatically nonsensical if the pragmatic criteria (inscribed within the context of scientific practice) required for the assignment of any truth-value to such sentence are not met. Thus, in the context of the theory of pragmatic truth, any (well-formed) formula of a formal language interpreted on a simple pragmatic structure will be considered pragmatically nonsensical if the set of primary sentences of such structure is not well-built, that is, if it does not include the relevant observational data and/or theoretical results, or if it does include sentences that are inconsistent with such data.