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Say in my language I have a 'variable x', in my language the symbol x represents a (variable) number, so at a level of meaning it is an object, and at a level of symbols 'x' is simply a set of lines in my typeface, how is it that we can talk about 'the variable "x"'? At a level of meaning it is an unspecified number and as a symbol we simply have 'x' should it be the 'variable whose value is denoted by x' or is there some other level where we can call the variable 'x'?

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  • According to some philosophers three: symbol, object, meaning. Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 16:34
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    As on your last question, @mauro pointed out that you should distinguish between meta language and object language. Here, you should distinguish between syntax and semantics, which further breaks into reference and content (arguably). Then, to answer your question, there is also the level of pragmatics
    – emesupap
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 16:34
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    Both meaning and symbol can in turn be analyzed into a number of categories. It all depends on how deep you want to take the analysis. Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 17:13
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    @Papuseme that did indeed help.
    – Confused
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 18:58
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    @DanielMGessel, yes, that's the sort of thing I had in mind. There is also, for example the difference between occurrences and function. In a predicate like "(∀ x .p(x)->q(x)) and (∀ x .q(x)->r(x))" are there two x's or or six? It depends on exactly what sort of thing you are referring to: typographical occurrences or a functional part of the formula. Commented Oct 16, 2022 at 4:01

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