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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
4answers
62 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Do linguists call human language “natural”? [on hold]

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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
47 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
35 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
57 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 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?
1
vote
1answer
45 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
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
40 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
116 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
37 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) ...
2
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
24 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
53 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
38 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
223 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
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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?
2
votes
4answers
66 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
0
votes
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
votes
3answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
151 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
24 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
198 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" ...
1
vote
2answers
50 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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!
7
votes
2answers
270 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
35 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
38 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
174 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
64 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
248 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
232 views

Generalizing mathematical concepts

It's sometimes useful and interesting to generalize mathematical concepts - e.g., turning the familiar notion of number of things in a given set into the concept of cardinality of a set, etc. Lately I ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

What is the relation between the material conditional in logic and conditionals that we use every day?

The material conditional has a truth-value of T in every case except where the antecedent proposition is true and the consequent is false. However, this means that many conditionals are true (if only ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Composite truth tables for sentence relations (entailment, synonymy,etc.)

I'm using John Saeed's 'Semantics'. Now in chap 4 I see he is trying to formalize sentence relations such as entailment, synonymy, contradiction, etc., by some kind of different truth tables he calls ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Do sentences that are “selection violations” have truth values?

Given a grammatical sentence like "Colorless green grass sleeps furiously" is it possible to assign a truth value to it?
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Why do Conditional Semantics matter?

It seems that in most everyday cases, taking conditionals to have material truth conditions suffices for us to reason with them correctly (in the sense that using material truth conditions will most ...
2
votes
0answers
165 views

What is an “unarticulated background”?

Does a sentence only mean something because it draws on knowledge outside of itself? Take 2 + 2 = 4: is it a tautology? No: it depends on a conception of '+', which is not located within that ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

Why does it matter whether knowledge is synthetic or analytic?

I have done some reading around Kant's idea of splitting knowledge into synthetic and analytic. I don't understand why does this split matter, knowledge could be split in other way by different ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Abstract versus Concrete

Who drew the line between abstract/concrete and general/specific in the philosophy of language? Are there any comprehensive resources on the early history of their development specifically with ...