for philosophical questions concerning the nature, origins, and usage of natural language

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0answers
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Which is more important in academic philosophy? [on hold]

Semantics or syntax? I think the answer is obvious.
3
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1answer
25 views

Are there possible worlds that differ only in the assignment of rigid designators?

Is there an implicit idea in Kripe's definition of rigid designators that rules out the following possible world: Let A, B rigidly designate two things in the real world. Imagine the possible ...
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1answer
31 views

Does everything have at least one rigid designator?

Put antother way Proposition 1: for anything that exists in this world I can find/construct, even if just by assertion, a rigid designator that applies to it. Proposition 2: like proposition 1 but ...
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1answer
40 views

How can I tell when a term is a rigid designator?

Basically the title question: How can I tell if a term is a rigid designator? So far all I have is that proper names are (or can be, since there is a difference between "being named Barack Obama" ...
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2answers
65 views

Linguistic realism

The better way to phrase it is: "Are there objective truths about language?" -- this question is parallel to the question of moral realism: "Are there objective moral truths"? One way to interpret ...
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3answers
85 views

How to deal with counterfactuals with false antecedents

Consider the following hypothetical question: If there were two moons, what kind of poem would be composed? There are two ways of considering this type of statement that I find unexciting: Any ...
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4answers
174 views

Is it possible to argue against a person who is skeptical about the meaning of all words?

Such person would consider the meaning of all words to be vague (including the meaning of the word "vague" ), and think that actually we do not know what we are talking about (including this sentence ...
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2answers
24 views

Is anything known about the content of Sraffa's critique of Wittgenstein's Philosophy?

in the preface to Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations he says: For since beginning to occupy myself with philosophy sixteen years ago I have been forced to recognise grave mistakes in what ...
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6answers
151 views

Is there any philosophical school of thought arguing for the primacy of words over symbols or mathematics in explaining things?

I'm not claiming that words are superior to symbols in all respects. I'm just curious if there is a school of thought arguing that natural language has more use than mathematics or formal language in ...
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2answers
84 views

Do linguists call human language “natural”? [closed]

From a recent question (Could a programming language be considered as a language?), it came to me the impression that there may be some confusion about the terminology professional linguists use, when ...
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9answers
2k views

Could a programming language be considered as a language? [closed]

This question might seem like it answers itself, but I urge you to consider the possibilities and the impact this could have on society. As a systems engineer, programming is more common to me than ...
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0answers
54 views

How do we know something is a “category mistake”?

I believe that Gilbert Ryle introduced the term "category mistake", but I am struggling to apply the term. Could you please give me an obvious and less obvious instance of a category-mistake? And if ...
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1answer
43 views

What makes a question other than its expression?

Outside on meta a few oddballs are asking about questions on stack exchange e.g. me hah I think we can agree that a questioning mind can be have negative value (e.g. motivated or full to brim with ...
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3answers
69 views

What are the propositions?

I've asked before as to what propositions count as meaningful, and, as some commentators and responders helpfully pointed out, 'meaning' and 'propositions' appear to be identical entities in the ...
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2answers
72 views

What is meaningful?

Which propositions are considered meaningful and on what grounds? In other words, when is it correct to predicate 'meaningfulness' of the propositions?
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1answer
48 views

On act of asking

Consider the situation below: A boy asked his mom for a chocolate cake. His mom, however, gave him a lemon cake instead even though she had the chocolate cake. The boy enjoyed the lemon cake so much ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Is there a formalized logic for prepositions?

Certain words in natural language are more amenable to logical formalization. The conjunction "and" or weak conditional "unless" are easily applied to break statements into their constituent atomic ...
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1answer
160 views

Why is Chomsky considered to have refuted Skinner's behaviorism?

I heard in a philosophy of the mind lecture that Skinner's behaviorism went out of favor in the 50s mainly due to Chomsky's critique of Skinner's behaviorist account of language acquisition. When I ...
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0answers
37 views

What is a predicate?

There is of course predicate as in predicate logic; but I'm asking about the notion in Aristotles Organon. Consider the proposition: Socrates is a man Man is a universal, Socrates is a ...
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2answers
42 views

What is a proposition? [closed]

In the propositional calculus it is a bearer of truth-values; the proposition indicated by, say the letter p, is deemed to have no further structure. Is this all, or can more be said? Consider the ...
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1answer
119 views

Concrete language as a manifestation of Being [closed]

Foucault in the preface to The Order of Things wrote how he 'laughed out loud' when he discovered a Chinese Encyclopedia whose categorisation of knowledge was different from his European ...
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1answer
43 views

Is there a word for 'language as the house of being'?

Heidegger asserts in Letter on Humanism that: language is the house of being. In its home human brings live. Is there a specific word in German, or Greek (considering Heidegger was a classicist) ...
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1answer
62 views

Language as the house of being

Heidegger writes in Letter on Humanism: Language is the House of Being. In its home human beings dwell. And then later: the widely and rapidly devastation of language not only undermines ...
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0answers
26 views

The Rhizome, Language and Theatatus

The very first chapter of Deleuzes Thousand Plateaus contains the following as an example of a Rhizome: Principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a Rhizome can be connected to any ...
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1answer
66 views

What is the difference between Jerry Fodor's LOT and Wittgenstein's Picture Theory of Meaning?

From Wikipedia: "[The] the language of thought hypothesis (LOTH) put forward by American philosopher Jerry Fodor describes thoughts as represented in a "language" (sometimes known as mentalese) that ...
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2answers
45 views

Can the correspondance theory of truth take into account observer effects?

Kant wrote in the Metaphysics of Natural Science If we ·keep mathematics out of the picture and· think of the doctrine of the soul merely as a systematic art of analysis or as an experimental ...
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1answer
231 views

Are there different levels/categories of falsehood?

Consider the following sentences: The current president of the United States has 2 daughters. The current president of the United States has 5 sons. The current emperor of the United States has 12 ...
3
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1answer
57 views

How does Kripke lay out the epistemic argument?

The epistemic argument against descriptivism, as laid out by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states: Kripke's epistemic argument (1980, 78; 87) is closely related, but trades on ...
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1answer
20 views

What is Brandom's notion of implicitness?

Robert Brandom seems to have a very distinct notion of implicitness when he says things like: For while that vocabulary is not itself descriptive vocabulary, its use is implicit in the use of ...
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1answer
34 views

Use-Mention distinction with letters [closed]

When you spell a word, are you using or mentioning the letters? Also, in general, is it possible to use letters?
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5answers
86 views

“The” before “future” means we believe in hard determinism?

English speakers put the definite article "the" before the word "future" when they refer to the future (no pun intended). For example: In the future, everyone will have access to clean water. ...
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1answer
262 views

How does logocentrism entail metaphysics of presence?

Various definitions and explanations of logocentrism, in general and in context of Derrida in particular, seem to be either incomprehensible or logically invalid. The narrowest definition states that ...
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0answers
20 views

Dual operator in justification logic

In justification logic, given a formula A, one can have modal formulas of the form 't : A', read as 't justifies A' or 't is evidence for A'. Has there been any investigation of what the dual of such ...
2
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3answers
54 views

Dual of identity relation?

Does anyone have any intuitions about what the dual of the identity relation might be? I.e. is there a 'natural' concept expressed by a statement such as 'it is not the case that a is not identical to ...
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4answers
152 views

Metathinking impossible without ordinary language?

Many years ago I read somewhere that metathinking is absolutely impossible without ordinary language (be it a natural language like English, or a constructed one like Esperanto). After this statement ...
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1answer
26 views

Is there an recommended text for the difference between what people say and what they do? [closed]

trld; I’m interested in the philosophical difference between ‘what people say’ and ‘what people do’, where can I find an introductory text that discusses this. I’m aware the following are generic ...
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8answers
207 views

Assuming P means the same as Q and Bob believes P and is aware that P means the same as Q, can we conclude he believes Q?

Assuming Bob is a fairly rational person. If this is not the case, then is there a way to modify it? Also, is this the argument that Frege is making in "On Sense and Reference" that "the morning star" ...
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2answers
56 views

What emotion corresponds to courage?

In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle outlines an axis for lache (courage); where one extreme is cowardice, and the other recklessness. One can associate the emotion of fear with cowardice, but what ...
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1answer
91 views

Why does Philosophy of Language matter?

Why does philosophy of language matter? I'm not trying to troll here; I'm interested in what people who find this subject fascinating are so fascinated about!
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2answers
278 views

Can a “real” paradox exist?

Given a statement, S: "S is not true." We arrive at a paradoxical solution whether or not we assume S to be true or false. Does this automatically imply that we have made an error in logic, ...
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1answer
36 views

What are the names, or arguments of the atomic sentence “Max ate a cake” and “I ate a cake.”

What are the names, or arguments of the atomic sentence Max ate a cake and I ate a cake. ? First of all, "Max" is definitely a name. But is "cake" a name? And in the second sentence, is ...
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1answer
47 views

Is the line between use and mention always defined?

Consider the sentence "I like Heroin", meaning that you enjoy the famous song by the Velvet Underground. Is the expression in italics used or mentioned? To me it seems that it's a use, but a weird ...
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0answers
39 views

which philosopher was suspicious of the word “natural”?

He was suspicious because he noticed that the word "natural" is often used to convince people that something is "true without need for further explanation" - a suspicious usage, certainly. Heard ...
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1answer
176 views

If qualia are “something extra” to explain, isn't it weird that the brain produces speech about qualia?

This question is mainly directed at people who are firm physicalists (as opposed to dualists) but still think qualia are "something extra to be explained". I believe Searle and Chalmers both fall into ...
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4answers
3k views

Who does Wil Wheaton represent in “Big Bang Theory”?

Following the aesthetics-challenge my first question on this site: In several episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" Wil Wheaton appears. In the credits it is stated that he plays "himself". But I have ...
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1answer
49 views

Word and image (in poetry)

A 2011 book on conceptual poetry titled conceptualisms claims Note: there is no aesthetic or ethical distinction between word and image. They seem to define "images" as what manifest to create ...
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0answers
67 views

Universal quantifier in Russell's Theory of descriptions - Who is the UNIVERSE?

In Russell's 1905 paper "on denoting" in which he introduces his theory of descriptions, he uses his method of analyzing propositions that include denoting phrases (descriptive ones), by rewriting ...
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1answer
73 views

what is the exact meaning of bedeutung for Frege?

When we read the seminal essay of "sense and reference" by Frege, one of the most important ambiguity is the meaning of "bedeutung". Of course Michael Dummett the Late great philosopher point out to ...
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1answer
282 views

Why is Tarski's semantic theory of truth formally correct and materially adequate?

In "The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics" (1944) Alfred Tarski asserts that a satisfactory definition of truth must be both formally correct and materially adequate. A ...
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1answer
32 views

Need of source for the 2nd half of “On sense and reference”

As you know, much of the second half of “On Sense and Reference” is devoted to carefully considering when subordinate clauses and embedded sentences contribute customary or indirect senses to the ...