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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
53 views

What do philosophers mean by 'conceivable'?

Philosophers, especially in analytic metaphysics, often talk about the conceivability of things. Here are some examples: I can conceive a perfect being, therefore, a perfect being is possible. ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

What is a sign?

Saussure wrote: It is... possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We ...
6
votes
4answers
153 views

On speaking of 'apparently' non-physical things

Something has really been bugging me lately. Bare in mind I haven't really studied any Philosophy of Mind, but I currently accept that only the physical exists. It comes as being something very ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Can Frege coherently admit expressions that have a sense but lack a reference?

I am looking here for any sources that respond to the question given: Can Frege coherently admit expressions that have a sense but lack a reference? I am familiar with a lot of the exegetical work ...
5
votes
5answers
132 views

Learning a language from a dictionary

There's a nice question I thought about, and I'd like to know more about it. I would assume it has been discussed many times, but I'm not sure what its called so I'm having trouble finding any texts ...
3
votes
3answers
78 views

Why are exclamations like “Ouch!” not considered propositions?

Doesn't "Ouch!" mean "I am experiencing discomfort", which is a proposition?
0
votes
3answers
112 views

Does anxiety contradict trust?

First of all, how can we even define trust? The most common definition, I guess, is being sure that a person or idea will never fail us. But being sure doesn't really allow for anxiety. And here, my ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

What is the difference between 'meaning' and 'reference' for Putnam?

In Reason, Truth and History, Putnam talks about 'meaning' and 'reference', but I don't understand the difference between the two for him. He says: what goes on inside our head does not determine ...
4
votes
5answers
193 views

“Why” vs. “How” in the Experimental Sciences

Based on the lively discussion of this question over at physics.stackexchange, I thought it might be useful to ask it here as well. The kernel of the debate is whether or not "why" questions are ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Does gender theory explain gender in linguistics?

Considering that one of the roots of Gender theory lies in linguistics via Derrida through deconstruction and subversion; and that Man as a subject not only thinks but also speaks (and possibly spoke ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

Why should one read the Tracatus?

In the introduction to the Tractatus, Russell writes: In order to understand Mr Wittgenstein’s book, it is necessary to realize what is the problem with which he is concerned. In the part of his ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Rigorous resources on the philosophy of language

I would like to find some introductory resources on the philosophy of language that are also rigorous, as I come from a mathematical background with my interests rooted in mathematical logic. Ideally ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What would prevent me from putting brains in vats?

Following Putnam, I cannot possibly be a brain in a vat, because (if my understanding is correct) I can only refer to "vats" that are not the ones in which I suggest my brain could be. But what ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Are there philosophers who further develop ideas by Searle?

I'm reading a bit about John Searle's philosophies of mind and language at the moment. In his language lectures he keeps emphasizing that his views aren't considered mainstream. Are there any ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

Is Be, Do and Have all we can talk about?

I have heard that theoretically you can classify all things you can possibly talk/write about into 3 categories i.e. be, do and have. People and things can be something, do something and have ...
-3
votes
1answer
99 views

Is the evolution & development of language better described by Deleuze concept of the rhizome than the traditional tree? [closed]

Deleuze & Guattari introduce the idea of the rhizome in their text A thousand Plateaus as a metaphor closer to the reality than aboroscent (tree-like) descriptions can. The question is how does ...
3
votes
4answers
729 views

Why is the Münchhausen trilemma an unsolved problem?

Why is the Münchhausen trilemma unsolved? Couldn't anybody find some reasons for proving/disproving it? Or are there other reasons for it being called "unsolved"? the trilemma If we ask of any ...
6
votes
3answers
245 views

Can the oldest man in the world die?

In the news, I read "Recently, the oldest man in the world died." I know the intended meaning of the above sentence, but language wise it might be kind of a stretch. Is this a sentence where the ...
3
votes
4answers
231 views

Why do fictional characters not exemplify properties?

I recently read about encoding and exemplifying. From what I understand - Detective Smith (a real person) exemplifies detectiveness, but Sherlock Homes does not. Sherlock Homes isn't real - and ...
-1
votes
1answer
111 views

are fundamental questions like “cogito ergo sum” even provable? [closed]

The rationalist descartian position states that everything can be doubted except doubt itself. With the phrase "cogito ergo sum" it claims to establish the existence of one ones existence, if i did ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the essential something that Heidegger suggests that philosophers can learn from poetry?

In this transcript of a conversation between Simon Critchley & Badiou on Badiou's book Being and Event, Badiou states: And after that, I have also to understand why there is in modern times a ...
7
votes
1answer
76 views

How is meaning-holism a problem for the analytic-synthetic distinction?

I read Quine's Two Dogmas, and I also read two of Harman's papers:'Doubts about Conceptual Analysis,' and 'Analyticity Regained?' I have a couple of observations: Both Quine and Harman adopt a kind of ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

What does Putnam mean by “indexicality”?

I just studied Putnams "Meaning and Reference" (http://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/analytic/Putnam1973.pdf) Then he talks about indexicality . What exactly does it mean when we say that a word, or some ...
7
votes
2answers
110 views

what are the limits of rigid designation?

There is a gnome in my garden, which I've christened 'Barack Obama'. (This is the plaster-of-paris sort, not a fictional one.) Is there a possible world in which the two swap? What does Kripke say? ...
7
votes
3answers
232 views

Is “Mickey Mouse” a rigid designator?

According to Kripke, proper names, like Barack Obama, Michael Jackson etc are rigid designators. In all possible worlds, the name refers to the 'object' Barack Obama or Michael Jackson. This is true ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

Are all languages related? [closed]

This question was prompted by this newspaper article saying: Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Is this sentence contingent or necessary true? A priori or a posteriori?

Given the following sentence "Barack Obama's name is Barack Obama According to Kripke, can we say that this sentence is necessary true or is it contingent? I'm confused because proper names are ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

A simple paradox of True or False [duplicate]

In a piece of paper, it was written: The statement written in the paper is false. Is that statement actually true or false?
1
vote
2answers
164 views

How does Derrida explain the possibility of meaningful communication and linguistic coordination?

Consider this passage on Derrida and meaning (from here): The search for an 'essential reality' or 'origin' or 'truth' is futile, because "...language bears within itself the necessity of its ...
9
votes
4answers
177 views

Does languange somehow filter what we can know?

I've read a proposition somewhere: That our languange acts as a filter, allowing us to know certain things while making it impossible to know the rest(1). It seems that mathematics has some things ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

How does deconstruction differ from post-structuralism?

Derrida states that his use of the word deconstruction first took place in a context in which "structuralism was dominant" and its use is related to this context. Derrida states that ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

What are some good examples of how structuralism is used in the humanities?

I'm aware that Levi-strauss used structuralist ideas in anthropology - are there any simple examples of how he used these ideas. I'm also aware of it being used in literature - how is that done. Are ...
2
votes
4answers
188 views

Book on philosophy of language for beginners

Reading books about philosophy of language I came cross a lot of terminology like "metaphysics", "epistemology", "aesthetics", "logical positivist" etc. As I'm a total beginner in this area, I'm ...
0
votes
3answers
254 views

What branch(es) of philosophy use symbolic logic as a fundamental tool?

I have been reading this book about philosophy of language by A. Miller": the discussion of Frege and Russell are excellent, using logic symbol to introduce ideas. However, the remaining chapters do ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Are there any introductory video courses about philosophy of language on the internet?

I want to study the philosophy of language. Are there any video courses about philosophy of language on the internet?
7
votes
1answer
503 views

What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?

In the Tractatus-Logicus Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm not quite ...
-1
votes
2answers
206 views

Can any one experience the World without a language? if yes to what extent, if no, why not?

By listening, speaking, seeing and reflecting on words made by the alphabets of a language - one experiences the World. How far is this correct? Can any one experience the World without a language? if ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Is difference between 'free will' and 'imaginary obligation' purely connotational?

Consider the concepts of 'free will' and 'imaginary obligation'. Under certain circumstances they seem hard to differentiate (i.e. somebody 'really wants' to relisten a track of music, or perhaps it ...
5
votes
7answers
454 views

Does Searle's Chinese Room model computers correctly?

Searle invented a thought experiment, the Chinese Room, which he proposes is an argument against Strong AI (that machines think) but not against Weak AI (that machines simulate thinking), he has a man ...
4
votes
2answers
459 views

Language or idea? Which comes first? (language of thought hypothesis)

I'm a physicist, but I do like philosophy, so I was arguing with a friend about what comes first: Ideas or the language/symbolism? More Precisely: If we define thinking process as: a kind of ...
3
votes
3answers
413 views

How come that a certain language is more logical as compared to another language?

Is it acceptable to say that a specific language is more logical than another language? To give an example, I always see the argument, that Latin (and also Japanese) is more logical than English.
7
votes
2answers
766 views

Derrida-Searle debate - any information?

I would like to know how Derrida-Searle debate went on (Wikipedia is lacking, and Searle's response is somehow difficult to find.). Can anyone provide me some summary and some crucial details?
6
votes
2answers
204 views

Is there a philosophical term or theory that defines or describes the idea of 'epiphany'?

I am new to the philosophy stack exchange, so please let me know if I need to clarify this question further. I am curious if there is a distinction made in philosophical fields between a typical ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

What is the ontological stance of formalists on mathematical objects?

Are modern proponents of formalism associated with an ontoglogical opinion regarding numbers? If they view mathematics as the process of manipulating string according to agreed upon rules, there ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Does Bergson view symbols negatively or only as a secondary source of knowledge?

In the Introduction to Metaphysics, metaphysics is defined as "that science which claims to dispense with symbols." Bergson contends that the human mind operates discursively, or by taking snapshots ...
9
votes
1answer
153 views

How does language alter our experience of the world?

I was thinking — if we didn't have words our experiences would be different somehow. It seems to me that perhaps words are limiting our experiences because as soon as we relate an experience to a word ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Parsing the actionable in standpoint theory

A recent Hugo Schwyzer article laid out the following explanation of "Strong Objectivity": We can never adopt a true “view from nowhere.” We can defy gravity in outer space, but we can never slip ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Given Wittgenstein's characterisation of language as essentially public, can he characterise what form thinking takes?

According to Wittgenstein, language is an essentially public activity between minds; and language is structured by a grammar so that this communication can indeed occur. I think, the notion of ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Wittgenstein maintains language is public, can this be correct?

I come into the world where other beings are using language. I learn this. Those beings have come into the world where other beings are using language. They learn it. Those other beings come into ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Does language itself support the extended mind hypothesis?

language, even when taking into Chomskys hypothesis of the biological ground of 'Deep Grammar', is primarily public: The English language is not built into our minds, it is 'out there'. I come into ...