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2answers
38 views

Did Quine have another reason to be skeptical of reference besides its context-dependence?

Quine, like many others before him, thought that the meaning of words depends on the context they are in. But what compelled Quine to hold that in light of this there is an ambiguity as to what any ...
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0answers
30 views

How does Wittgenstein think language is acquired?

Wittgenstein is critical of the 'private linguist' and his exclusive use of the ostensive definition, where the definition provided for a given word is an example or a 'pointing out' of what the word ...
2
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0answers
17 views

Kripke's Solution to Negative Existentials

From what I've collected, Quine seemed to have solved the problem of non-being by using Russell's theory of definite descriptions through the negation of the x having certain properties/descriptions. ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Does the existence of the proposition require language to be referential?

If we grant that there is a proposition wherein something meaningful is being asserted, does that require us to think of language as essentially representative in some way? If language didn't contain ...
1
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1answer
32 views

How do we know that Wyman and McX aren't the same person?

Quine thought that only that which exists can be referred to, or in other words 'to be is to be the value of a bound variable'. However, what of his equally famous fictional characters Wyman and McX?...
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1answer
25 views

The Picture Theory of Meaning

I'm not quite clear as to exactly how how Wittgenstein concludes that metaphysical/non-phenomenal talk is meaningless in his Tractatus. Doesn't a statement like, "God exists" and its propositional ...
3
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0answers
29 views

The Tractatus and the Meaninglessness of Traditional Philosophy

After some research and personal investigation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, I can't help but be confused by his conclusion that metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, etc. are meaningless given our language'...
0
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1answer
45 views

Do signifiers in a “system of signs” refer to each other, as well as the signified?

Saussure claimed that language is "a system of signs that express ideas." Handbook of Semiotics, By Winfried Nöth, p57. Do these signs, in language or any of the sign systems just mentioned, ...
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4answers
97 views

Truth Value of Sentences Containing Logical Contradictions

Do propositions containing logical contradictions have truth values, or are they meaningless? For example: A) Some married bachelors exist. B) 95% of married bachelors live in Maryland. C) ...
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0answers
30 views

Writing style of Philosophical Investigations

I have just begun reading Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations (Anscombe, Hacker, Schulte translation) for the first time (also my first Wittgenstein), and noticed that his repetition of ...
2
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0answers
27 views

Nominalist views and contradictions

Given a flavor of nominalism which denies that simple sentences and existential quantifiers referring to mathematical objects are literally true (pretense theory, fictionalism, figuralism, etc.), ...
3
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1answer
66 views

What is the significance of Wittgenstein's discussion of sensations before the private language argument?

In Philosophical Investigations 244-254, before talking about private signs, Wittgenstein is talking about sensations. He seems to divide this section into addressing in what way words refer to ...
6
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2answers
106 views

Understanding Sellars' The Myth of the Given rigorously

I understand the general view presented by Sellars in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". Yet, I can't get rigorously convinced. The main point is shown in part XIII, specifically in section 35. ...
3
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2answers
69 views

What happens when something becomes familiar to us?

Lately I've been pre-ocuppied with this question, which frankly makes me look at my surroundings in a fresh way. (I am mainly concerned with objects at the moment, but I think there can be a lot of ...
5
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1answer
79 views

Did Wittgenstein consider the possibility of a language that was token-private?

Wittgenstein criticized the idea that there could be a meaningful language that was only known in principle by one person. His insights have often been used to disregard the idea of private mental ...
4
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2answers
55 views

What is the difference between propositional sign and proposition in Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

While explaining the problem of what philosophy is according to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Frank P. Ramsey says: a propositional sign is clear insofar as the internal properties of its sense are ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Individual/Universal Concepts: What does Popper mean in section 14 of Logic of Scientific Discovery?

In section 14 of The Logic of Scientific Discovery Popper discusses the use of universal and individual names or concepts in singular and universal statements. He starts with a pretty ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Does later Wittgenstein think that the pragmatic test for meaning is a determinant of semantic content to the exclusion of any other determinant?

Wittgenstein originally put forward the 'picture theory of meaning', which propagated that a given sentence or word is meaningful insofar as it corresponds to a fact or 'picture' of the world. The ...
2
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1answer
42 views

Did Frege criticize the style of the Tractatus?

Wittgenstein's Tractatus appears to have a singular style (526 sections numbered and organized in decimal under headings 1 to 7). It's also very concise. And the stylistic side is not envisaged by ...
0
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2answers
68 views

Word for property such that any object which possesses it is the only object which possesses it?

Suppose that I have a property such that any object which possesses it is the only object which possesses it. For example we might suppose that the property of "being Sally's partner" is such a ...
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0answers
8 views

Who are the contemporary proponents of the metalinguistic view about idenity statements?

I am looking for contemporary proponents of the following thesis: Identity statements such as "a = b" are to be interpreted metalingustically, for example as "the names "a" and "b" are coreferential"....
2
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1answer
50 views

What responses have made to Kripke's criticism of the descriptivist theory of meaning?

Under the influence of Kripke's acute analysis, there has been a growing trend of modern essentialism, or in other words, the assertion that there are 'essential' descriptors (rigid designators) that '...
1
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1answer
52 views

The Death of Language - what does it mean?

I see this concept or idea mentioned in few essays. Afaiu - the end of language - the limit of language - death of meaning - .... But what does it mean - abstractly and/or practically?
8
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5answers
140 views

David Lewis, conditionals and restrictive quantification

In a nutshell: When are conditionals containing adverbial quantifiers true according to the David Lewis account? In particular, how are they to be judged if the situation in the antecedent never ...
6
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1answer
77 views

Was indeterminacy of linguistic meaning, as understood by Quine, anticipated by the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition?

Quine held that the meaning of words was indeterminate. The reasons he holds this view all seem to have in common a certain aspect; the indeterminacy that occurs occurs within what might be called '...
3
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1answer
61 views

Why does a formal language not need to specify time interval to be interpreted? [closed]

I am reading a book about history of mathematics, and it inspired to think about that formal languages do not need to specify time to transfer a message. I am thinking about DNA as a formal language, ...
2
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0answers
31 views

which problem Russell is focusing on while providing a solution, in his introduction to the Tractatus?

In the final part of his introduction to the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Russell provides a possible solution to the problem of the impossibility of self-reference of logic: There is one ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Why may I considere Wittgenstein a Kantian thinker with regard to metaphysics?

Wittgenstein is a Kantian philosopher as far as the structure of the Tractatus, as far as the last part (section 6 and comments) are concerned with: that I cannot speak about the subject in the ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Are propositions of sciences to be considered propositions of natural language, in the Tractatus?

Given the following assumptions: 1) When Wittgenstein speaks about meaningful propositions he does refer to propositions of natural sciences. 2) About the problem of the perfection of language, he ...
1
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1answer
81 views

can a vague sentence be considered meaningful in the Tractatus?

In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein draws a demarcation among meaningful sentences (1), the meaningless propositions of logic (2: sinnlos sätze) and nonsensical propositions (3: unsinnig sätze). 1) ...
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0answers
12 views

The reducibility of propositions and the link between them

Is it possible to reduce, or determine the reducibility of a proposition into simpler combinations of state of affairs? For example: "Eating small animals is wrong." in a given context (vegetarian ...
2
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1answer
83 views

How Russell and Ramsey misunderstood Wittgenstein with regard to the problem of the perfection of language?

In the Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus there is a tension between the aim of achieving a language perfectly ordered, with regard to natural language, and the evidence that the latter is not really ...
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1answer
51 views

How can statements in linguistics be falsifiable?

Linguistics is the scientific study of languages, and yet it seems to me that many, if not most statements would fail falsificationist or even verificationist demarcation criteria. How can statements ...
6
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1answer
100 views

How do Kripke's rigid designators and the necessity of identity relate to the Duhem-Quine thesis?

The Duhem-Quine thesis refers to the underdetermination of scientific theories and the fact that it is impossible to test scientific theories in isolation, we always need to make background ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Does Every Logic Have the Potential for Violent Measurement?

Measurement, in the broad sense, involves useful abstractions and logical applicability that allow us to survey environmental data with extreme precision and prediction. The tools or instruments used ...
0
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2answers
39 views

Why did René Descartes opine that languages are 'fruits of study', but oratory and poetry 'gifts of the mind'?

Preface: Thinking this a question on Linguistics, I first posed on Linguistics SE but was redirected here. Source: p 76, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by Edward Craig. Admittedly, ...
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2answers
66 views

Can you teach something you don't know? [closed]

Is it possible to teach something you don't know?
10
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1answer
265 views

How to implement the so called 'principle of charity'?

The 'principle of charity' has been considered of great importance especially in scholarly communication. It is not very clear, nonetheless, how the principle can be implemented, even in simple ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Can Wittgenstein's critique of private language be turned against (modernized) Kant?

Wittgenstein argued, roughly, that a language has to be learned, and to be learned it has to be used first. Therefore, no private language. But if language has to be learned what then are the a priori ...
6
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1answer
122 views

How does Wittgenstein's argument against recognizing private sensations work?

Wittgenstein writes in his Philosophical Investigations in paragraph 270: Let us imagine a use for the entry of the sign "S" in my diary. I discover that whenever I have a particular sensation a ...
1
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1answer
80 views

Are questions about existence purely semantic?

I was inspired by this question, and in particular this section of user259242's answer: Type identity physicalism says mental states are identical with brain states. Eliminativism on the other ...
2
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1answer
49 views

What is the meaning of “using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house” in Derrida?

Can anyone help me with the meaning of this sentence? "For Derrida deconstruction is "to attempt an exit and a deconstruction without changing terrain, by repeating what is implicit in the ...
3
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5answers
298 views

What actually are meaningless symbols?

Some days ago our professor during the course of his lecture wrote the following definition of a polynomial. We say that an expression of the form a0 + a1x + a2x2 + ... + anxn is a polynomial of ...
6
votes
3answers
129 views

Why does the philosophy concerned with the problem of negative existential statements not make use of mental representations to solve it?

Meinong, Frege, Russel and Kripke all seem to accept the principle, that for a statement to be true, its singular terms must denote an object. This leads to the problem, that a sentence like 'The ...
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0answers
40 views

How do debates about meaning affect the status of personal religious beliefs?

Debates about the meaning of meaning cut across the analytic/continental divide. According to externalist accounts (e.g. Kripke-Putnam's) people believe, or even know, that beeches are different from ...
2
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0answers
31 views

What is a description? [closed]

I am a physicist/mathematician working on reduction of description. In my case the meaning of description is: A representation of some perceived phenomenon into a (formal) language. Are there any ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Is Socrates a substance?

Consider the following from Aristotles Categories: Substance, in the truest, primary and most definite sense of the word, is that which is neither predicable of a subject nor present in a subject. ...
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8answers
2k views

Is 'is' a verb?

Generally, or at least in my experience, 'to be' is introduced as a verb. But is it? It doesn't appear to describe a change as in 'I kicked a ball' or 'he picked the pen up'. It describes things as ...
2
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1answer
66 views

On the meaning of “meaning”?

Is there a difference between the meaning of "meaning" as in "the meaning of life" and meaning as in "meaning of a proposition"? In the first case, one is referring to motivations and purposes, and ...
2
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3answers
66 views

Can anything be considered to be meaningful if it is neither a subject nor predicate?

When we say 'Ed is mean', 'Ed' is the subject and 'mean' is the predicate. Can any existing thing or any notion of existence itself be considered meaningful if it cannot possibly fit into these two ...