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

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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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2answers
23 views

What is a proposition?

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
111 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
35 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) ...
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1answer
33 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 ...
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22 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 ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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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 ...
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221 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 ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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1answer
16 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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1answer
31 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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129 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
147 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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1answer
23 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 ...
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8answers
195 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" ...
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2answers
46 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 ...
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1answer
85 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!
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264 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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
168 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
61 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 ...
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1answer
181 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
230 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 ...
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1answer
89 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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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 ...
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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?
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2answers
86 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 ...
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158 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 ...
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112 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 ...
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2answers
116 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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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2answers
105 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 ...
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4answers
177 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, ...
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181 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 ...
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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 ...
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217 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 ...
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279 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 ...
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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 ...
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327 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 ...