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

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8
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1answer
212 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
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1answer
50 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
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1answer
13 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
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1answer
30 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
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4answers
60 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
103 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
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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
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3answers
51 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
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4answers
145 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
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1answer
22 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
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8answers
191 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
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2answers
44 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
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1answer
80 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
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3answers
258 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
34 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
40 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
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0answers
37 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
163 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
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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
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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 ...
2
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0answers
62 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
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1answer
58 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
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1answer
160 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
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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
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4answers
227 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
88 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 ...
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0answers
26 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
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1answer
44 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
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2answers
81 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
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0answers
154 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
107 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
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2answers
113 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 ...
2
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1answer
56 views

What is the Frege-Sense of “I am here”

I am fairly familiar with Frege's usage of sense and reference, but how does he deal with indexicals?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Does the word 'And' refer?

The word 'house' and the word 'shed' refer - they are physical things we can point to (their referent). Now consider the word 'and' - this at first appears to not refer to anything. If one is trained ...
1
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2answers
97 views

What do we mean by the symbolic representation of nothing?

The word 'nothing' symbolically represents nothing-in-itself. But how can we refer to something that by definition is not there? To make this clearer: the word 'horse' refers to an actual living ...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

Is Horse a Concept?

Frege famously said horse is not a concept (it is an object). When we consider the sentence 'Socrates is a philosopher', 'Socrates' is an object and 'philosopher' is a concept, and there is a copula, ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

Why does one worry about the existence of a number but not of a dog?

One can ask whether the number one exists, and there are a range of answers. In particular, Platonism holds that this number does exist in some abstract world. Now observe that number and one are ...
-1
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1answer
47 views

If the referent is the thing referred to, what is the thing referring? [closed]

This is a very quick question, and the title says it all. For example, we may take the phrase "this tree" (standing, as we are, in front of a tree) to refer to that tree. We call that tree the ...
5
votes
3answers
211 views

Is Chomskys universal grammar synthetic a priori?

Chomskys notion of a universal grammar is his way of comprehending that human languages appear to have a deep grammar, and that children appear to learn language as though they are primed for it. It ...
7
votes
1answer
257 views

What's the point of 'dthat'?

David Kaplan famously formulated a logic for demonstratives (including terms like 'I', 'now', 'here' 'actually' etc.), LD, which is a version of first-order two-dimensional logic. Very roughly and ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

How might a modern defender of positivism classify a “speech act”?

A few people here have wondered whether positivism is really dead. I was under the impression that it was for a long time; but there seem to be some sympathizers with positivism here, and I'd be ...
1
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2answers
292 views

How many legs does a dog have?

I recently came across a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg. Is this really so? Imagine ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Relativist semantics for attitude ascriptions?

Most recent semantic theories about attitude ascriptions(AAs) are contextualist in that they hold that AAs are context sensitive: AAs are associated with different truth conditions in different ...
3
votes
3answers
200 views

Propositions lacking referents, and their truth-values

Okay so I’ve recently been (briefly) introduced to the idea of propositions containing non-existent entities. The classic example is, of course, “The present king of France is bald.” Here the referent ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is *lost* and *gained* in repudiating the analytic/synthetic distinction?

Analytic sentences are characterized as sentences whose truth values derive from their meanings alone. The truth of synthetic sentences depend on both meaning and fact. In the early modern ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Current philosophy of language

I wanted to know what are the current status of philosophy of language. What is valid today? What philosophers are accepting? For example, during the beginning of the XX centry, we have Frege's views ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Cheap linguistic trick

Consider the statement "I'm moving". It seems to me that this statement can be both true and false. That is, because motion is relative, I may not be moving relative to the Earth (i.e. standing ...
15
votes
4answers
764 views

Should we save endangered languages?

There are over six thousand living languages in the world, of which more than one thousand are defined as "endangered" - they are at serious risk of becoming extinct, with no living speakers. Rather ...
4
votes
2answers
236 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
1answer
55 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 ...