With so many threads on this forum seeming to me - from my point of view - as wars of words -can it be argued whether semantics are philosophy's oxygen? Would any philosophical debate actually take place if it were not for apparently incessant contesting of terminology?
A lot of people I meet are stuck. As self-aggrandizing as it may sound, my work focuses un-sticking them. I do this by helping them construct their own language, with which they construct their way on the basis of some facts they can rely upon.
With so many people enduring low self-esteem, I'd blame lack of clarity in language for sinking them in a soup of words with which they cannot 'correlate'. Hence, it is the fog of semantics that is usually what causes folk to get stuck in the first place. Definitive language structures and grammatical laws can help facilitate clarity and civil discourse.
Being new to philosophy and browsing many far more experienced 'philosophers' questions and answers, what I detect is that so much query/ discussion/ debate/ argument could be avoided if we stuck to the definitions.
For example, recently, I read a Forbes magazine article Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill.
Empathy is not a skill. Skills are doing words; therefore they are verbs. Apologies for being definitive and outspoken on this. But that's the nature of language. Words hold meaning. Happiness is super reliant on words possessing secure meaning. Locked-in meaning. If the meaning is down to a matter of meaning and interpretation, we could encounter conflict.
...Oh, that's where so much conflict emanates?
That last comment might read satirically for some readers. But my tonality should be regarded as conciliatory as I strive to understand. I note so much judgementalism and my heartfelt belief is understanding breeds compassion. Because there's a mountain of pain built on the back of lack of clarity. Wars are borne-out of semantic misunderstanding.
Wouldn't philosophy have so much more to offer humanity if it framed its debate with rigor? For too long, philosophy is impenetrably dense of lofty of words. At this particular moment in the history of humankind, we could all use a little straight-talk. Truth works. Anything else seems absurd.