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

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What is the difference between language of thought is innate(known as mentalese) and natural 'learned' language?

Language of thought theories generally fall into two categories. The first one is accept the innate, known as mentalese and the second one is which don't accept the innate, but the language of thought ...
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How do we understand Jerry Fodor's representational theory of mind (RTM)?

Representational theory of mind (RTM). Hypothesis that mental processes defined over the syntax of mental representations. The later is the hypothesis that propositional attitudes are relations ...
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What is the truth value of the proposition 'All unicorns are beautiful'?

If we let Fx denotes that which has the property of being a unicorn, and Gx denotes that which has the property of being beautiful, then this proposition would be signified by the following: ...
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What is the relationship between meaning and truth? [closed]

For all I can see, a sentence (or a string of symbols, etc) can only have a truth value if it is meaningful. What does this entail vis-à-vis the relationship between meaning and truth? Are a ...
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What is the meaning of syntax and semantic? [closed]

I think syntax is the rules of grammar and semantic is the meaning of words and sentences. My question is, how did Fodor explain the "language of thought" from this syntax and semantic?
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Fodor's language of thought

Fodor developed his idea of language of thought (representational account of propositional attitudes) from Brentano's ideas of intentionality. At the same time Daniel Dennett criticised the Fodor's ...
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What are the objections to the picture theory of language?

The title says it all. I am just interested to explore the objections briefly. I'll really appreciate if all is explained in layman's term and suggestion to helpful material is also welcome. Thank ...
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2answers
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Examples of non formal languages [closed]

I recently began looking at languages from a mathematical perspective. From a mathematical perspective a formal language is the widest definition of a language I have found. However, there is a ...
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1answer
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Boole on language

I am trying to understand the meaning of this quote of Boole 1847: "Language is an instrument of Logic, but not an indispensable instrument." There are something logical outside language? They are ...
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What does disposition mean in dispositional theory of meaning?

In discussion about rule-following and sceptical paradox, there is one solution called dispositional theory of meaning, which says, that if we are disposed to use a symbol + to denote addition, then ...
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Arguing about the meaning of words

Firstly, I should mention that I am not sure, whether this the right place to ask such a question, but I am trying it anyway. Furthermore, one could say I come from a mathematics background and I am ...
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2answers
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Are solipsists limited to statements regarding a singularity when self referencing?

If you are an Idealistic Solipsist, is it not true that you must say "I am a Solipsist." or "I am the Solipsist."? One cannot say "I am one of the Solipsists" for example. Are there other ...
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Do mainstream philosophers believe that Wittgenstein “solved” philosophy?

After finishing his first work, Wittgenstein left philosophy, thinking that he "solved" all philosophical questions. He is now considered one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, if ...
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Is philosophy meaningless?

*By meaningless I mean undefined, and by meaning I mean definition. As a student of philosophy, I, like the general public, thought that my difficulty in understanding the concepts of philosophy is ...
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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
39 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
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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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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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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
183 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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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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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
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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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
174 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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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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44 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
122 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
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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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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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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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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
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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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
48 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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37 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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“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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357 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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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 ...
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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
154 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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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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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" ...