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

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2answers
32 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
40 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 ...
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1answer
50 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
39 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 ...
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2answers
62 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 ...
2
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1answer
33 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 ...
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1answer
48 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?
7
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5answers
131 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
73 views

Was the indeterminacy of linguistic meaning, as understood by Quine, anticipated already in 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
59 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, ...
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0answers
27 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
50 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 ...
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1answer
23 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 ...
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1answer
68 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
72 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
50 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 ...
5
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1answer
91 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
44 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 ...
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2answers
37 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
61 views

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

Is it possible to teach something you don't know?
9
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1answer
202 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
61 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
112 views

How does Wittgenstein's private language argument work against distinguishing sensations?

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 ...
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1answer
76 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
285 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
121 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 ...
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0answers
28 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 ...
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1answer
72 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
65 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 ...
4
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2answers
158 views

What is the point of reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics?

Philosophers often use reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics and philosophy of mind to make a point, to justify their position, or a thought experiment, or to reject a position or theory they do not ...
6
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1answer
239 views

Are there some facets of perceptual experience which cannot be characterized as conceptual?

Some philosophers (e.g John McDowell) argue that the content of perceptual experience is necessarily characterized by conceptual terms; namely - the content of the experience is entirely built of ...
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0answers
20 views

Has Putnam's “division of linguistic labor” been developed elsewhere?

In "Reference and Meaning" Putnam mentions, as an aside, that language requires a certain "division of linguistic labor" that has not been previously recognized. By this, as I take it, he simply ...
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2answers
85 views

What sort of philosophical idea is characterized by the proposition that “language is software”?

I remember someone saying that language is the software to the hardware of our brains. Something to that effect. Does anyone know who that was?
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6answers
114 views

For Wittgenstein, What is the relation if there any between a linguistic entity and things in the world?

Ludwig Wittgenstein said: The difficulty of my theory of logical portrayal was that of finding a connection between the signs on paper and a situation outside in the world. I always said that ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Wittgenstein on names and paradigms [closed]

This is in a way a followup to the question on Wittgenstein's standard metre of Paris, which is part of his discussion on names in language. In philosophical investigations §55, Wittgenstein says: ...
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4answers
99 views

What is the purpose of meaning?

My question is actually this: What does the question: "what is the purpose of meaning" mean? Questions that may arise in answering this question may include: What kinds of things can have purpose? ...
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2answers
95 views

Do meta-facts exist?

Are there such things as meta-facts, that is, facts about facts? Like, "1=1" is a fact, and "It is a fact that 1=1" is a meta-fact. Has anyone mentioned anything like this in the literature?
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3answers
123 views

What is a fact? [closed]

What is a fact? What kind of object, if it is indeed such a thing, is it? I have read a lot of stuff that say "it is a fact that... ", but I have never seen a definition of fact or what kind of thing ...
3
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1answer
54 views

Definition of “language” in private language arguments

What is a sensible definition of the term language to use when interpreting private language arguments in general (if possible), or Wittgenstein in particular? Conversely, is rejecting the idea of ...
5
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6answers
157 views

Is it possible to communicate the ineffable?

If one has an ineffable experience or, more simply, an epiphany related to the ineffable dimension, can he communicate it to other people in principle (that is, through a communication that exists on ...
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0answers
57 views

Two-dimensional modal propositional logic (Stalnaker `Assertion') [closed]

If we define the analogous of the necessity operator as follows: $\triangle\phi$ := $c,w \models \triangle\phi$ iff $\forall d \in W d,w \models \phi$ what would that intuitively means? What is ...
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2answers
98 views

Why private language is an incoherent idea?

The fact that I have no problem imagining a private language probably implies that I don't understand the notion of private language. My understanding is private language is a language understandable ...
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4answers
126 views

How is the meaning of life “recursive”?

I read the following from wikipedia (which I have found quoted in various discussion forums) on the Meaning of Life. Logical positivists ask: "What is the meaning of life?", "What is the meaning ...
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1answer
50 views

How does Putnam reconcile having referents in language with rejection of realism?

Putnam is known for changing his mind often, but he seems to hold two views of linguistic meaning and reference simultaneously, combining which seems paradoxical. One is Quine's inscrutability of ...