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Questions tagged [language]

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2
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3answers
126 views

How is the truth multiple things?

For the philosopher, the Truth must be a surprisingly intractable concept. Truth has been called subjective, relative and plural. Also intriguingly: Truth is relative and plural. Now I realize this is ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

With infinite language would the meaning of words collapse?

If our language was infinite to describe an infinite amount of objects, would it even be possible for any of those concepts to mean anything? My intuition is that the meaning of a word is given to it ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Does 'until' imply a conditional with a negative consequent?

Suppose a father tells his kid that he can play video games whenever he wants. Then, one day, when the kid fell sick, the father told him that he can play video games until he recovers. Does this '...
23
votes
14answers
9k views

Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless?

Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless? Are infinitely recursive definitions valid? If we visualize ...
3
votes
5answers
123 views

Can an exception ever “prove” a rule?

It is a common thing to say that, when an "exception" is found, this proves (as in it provides evidence) there is a rule (or succinctly stated as "the exception proves the rule"). Is there a logical/...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Is there a special language for expressing subjective idealism?

Subjective idealism is the monistic metaphysical doctrine that only minds and mental contents exist. It entails and is generally identified or associated with immaterialism, the doctrine that material ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Is there overlap between semantics and syntax in the mind?

Please don't give me the Wikipedia or dictionary explanations, we're looking at mutual influence. In computer science the primitive expression of syntax would be as the format for instructions to the ...
5
votes
2answers
929 views

Could Nietzsche read English and French?

Nietzsche often criticized English philosophers and praised French philosophers. Could he read English and French? Or did he read translations of English and French philosophical writings?
5
votes
2answers
89 views

How to build up clear ideas

I was reading Descartes' Rules for the direction of mind and noticed how clear are his ideas. I would love to speak in that way, where every sentence is a necessary step to climb up the final idea. ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

What makes our words different than symbols like X?

There is an issue that blurs my head. For instance, lets have a proposition p that says: “X is round”. X is a symbol that we could mark something into. If we say X is an orange fruit, then the ...
6
votes
5answers
508 views

How can I learn the huge source of philosophical jargon?

I am not in university for philosophy, so my reading of, say, Timaeus is only assisted by things like SEP. Reading original texts can already be challenging in terms of jargon--e.g., epistemological, ...
1
vote
3answers
47 views

When we talk about a general concept, we imagine a particular instance

I'm looking to find some resources to read about the following: When we talk about a general concept (the word pencil in "a pencil is made of wood"), we actually have a mental image of a particular ...
13
votes
7answers
793 views

Is music just another language?

In this video (starting around 00:28:30) the interviewer, Bryan Magee, and Noam Chomsky discuss musical composition as a form of thinking without language. But it seems trivial to me that music is a ...
7
votes
5answers
878 views

What is the difference between the “is” of predication and the “is” of identity?

What is the difference between these, the "is" of predication and the "is" of identity? For example, when I say, "my pet is a cat", am I using "is" as an identity or as a predicate?
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Wittgenstein vs Derrida

Derrida and late Wittgenstein challenged the 'traditional' understanding of language. What is similar and what particularly different in their views of language? What materials shall I read, that ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Machines vs Chaos of Human Language

Will it ever be possible for machines to understand language the way humans do? It is a famous XKCD comic strip pointing out how "Language isn't a formal system. It is a glorious chaos". It ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

Can I truly express my thoughts?

Looking at the Private language argument it occurs to me that Wittgenstein does not really account for the developmental nature of language: Temporal and spacial separation of Speakers will ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

What theoretical underpinnings, if any, connect Philosophy with Linguistics?

I am curious about any similarities or assumptions even in the two fields that may link them. I suppose formal semantic analyses may be one area (broadly speaking) but perhaps there are others...? I ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Does the concept of Axis Mundi imply the idea of a symmetric universe?

In the mythologies of many cultures the universe is thought to have a center ( i do not mean the geographical concretisations which are obviously not accurate, i mean the philosophical conception ) ...
2
votes
3answers
174 views

What does Frege mean by “Cognitive Significance” in “On Sense and Nominatum”?

I'm reading Frege's "On Sense and Nominatum" and he uses "Cognitive significance", "Genuine Cognition"... I kind of infer from the context of each paragraph what he means with those kinds of phrases ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

What did C. S. Peirce mean by this remark about the phrase “necessary and sufficient condition”?

As I was reading through The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, I came across the following sentence: I doubt not that readers have been fretting over the ridiculous-seeming phrase “...
7
votes
3answers
218 views

Why is private language an incoherent idea?

The fact that I have no problem imagining a private language probably implies that I don't understand the notion of private language. My understanding is private language is a language understandable ...
9
votes
1answer
131 views

Does the postmodern rejection of “Grand Narratives” have anything to do with “First Principles” argumentation?

I've developed a recent interest in the distinction between "data-driven" argumentation and argumentation in the context of "First Principles", or a priori starting points. Among the various ...
14
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5answers
901 views

Is there a point to 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

Chomsky— On Language and the Essential Chomsky

I have taken an interest in the philosophy of language and have studied on my own the equivalent of a undergrad course in the philosophy of language. I want to know if Chomsky's On Language is ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

What are some good introductory books to contemporary linguistics?

I'm a philosophy student and I was going through philosophy of language but I feel that I do not have yet the basis to be critic about what I am reading. I think about it as going through philosophy ...
3
votes
5answers
170 views

Can any correct logical reasoning in natural language sentences be translated into a formal mathematical proof?

Since natural languages (e.g. English) are prone to ambiguities and misunderstandings due to their constant evolving nature and lack of rigorous formalization, and given an arbitrary philosopher X who ...
0
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0answers
48 views

How certain are we that our brain just produces recursive language?

I wonder about the different schools of thought in recursive language. See for example the case of Pirahã/Avram Noah Chomski/Daniel Leonard Everett reflections. It seems to me [pardon me because I ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Is acceptance followed by an interpretation of a sentence, acceptance of the sentence indeed?

I was wondering whether following after interpreting a sentence can be considered following the sentence or not. For example: there is a religion X which is based on a scripture Y. Now one of the ...
1
vote
3answers
134 views

What is an art? When an act becomes an art? what is it's length & breadth? [closed]

I would like to know what exactly is an art. Can we consider an act of murdering without getting caught as an art? Can we consider an act of inflaming the crowd or mob for mass destruction an art? ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

How do I interpret “All A are only B”? (Categorical logic)

I'm having trouble interpreting "All A are only B". At first, it seems like it's a redundant form of "All A are B". The conditional relation between A and B seems the same (if A then B). But when ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Which (European) Language(s) are recommended to learn for philosophy?

I am planning on learning a European language over the summer, probably German, Spanish or French. What is recommended both in terms of philosophy literature which is best understood in the original ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Is philosophy constrained by a philosopher's language?

Since a philosopher exercises his philosophy speaking and writing, is philosophy constrained by the limits of the language?
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Why are imperatives not propositions according to Frege?

I'm reading Frege's "On Sense and Nominatum" and I am confused with: "Imperatives have no nominata; they have only sense. It is true, commands or requests are not propositions, but they are of the ...
6
votes
2answers
746 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the opposite of “x” and why are “opposites” always in the same category?

Since I was a little kid I wondered about what people call opposites. If you ask someone "what is the opposite of white", they usually answer "black", but that's not the opposite, it is just another "...
4
votes
4answers
387 views

Self-describing language

Lately I saw a video about the messages that have been written into satellites that go into deep space. Most of them are based in mathematical constructs, assuming that math is a universal language, ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

What is understanding (of natural language texts) and how can we test or measure it?

What is the definition of the understanding of (written) natural language and how can we test or measure this understanding? What is understanding of the symbolic knowledge be it encoded in any form? ...
5
votes
5answers
129 views

If A says/claims that B is a fact, questioning B is also questioning A implicitly?

The definition I take of questioning is: "To cast doubt on the statements made by someone. e.g. Question the veracity of a story". For example, if the organization named A claims that B is a fact, if ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Which languages did Søren Kierkegaard speak and which could he only write/read?

I have read that Kierkegaard besides his mother tongue danish only learned to speak a little german. But he off course knew how to read and write greek and latin very well. But how about other ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Who (name of the science) researches meaning communicated through arts?

John I. Saeed in his famous textbook defines the Semantic as "Semantics is the study of meaning communicated through language". So - what is name for the science that researches meaning as ...
3
votes
0answers
93 views

Kripke's Puzzle Confusion

I'm not convinced that the Fregean rebuttal has been successfully repelled by Kripke in Kripke's puzzle. Don't Londres and London have two different senses in that Pierre associates Londres with being ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Did Wittgenstein consider the possibility of a private language with public content?

Wittgenstein criticized the idea that there could be a meaningful language that was only known in principle by one person. His insights have often been used to disregard the idea of private mental ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Does defining nothing make it something?

I originally thought of 0 for this question. 0 is used to represent nothing withing mathematics. However, I thought that by defining nothing as 0 which (at some level is something) does it no longer ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Is mathematics a language?

Galileo gave the metaphor that the natural world is written in the language of mathematics, but is mathematics even a language?
4
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7answers
475 views

Is “A and not-A” meaningful (and false) or meaningless?

Is there any phrase of the form "A and not-A" that is meaningful? We can imagine vernacular expressions with that form that carry meaning. I could say, "I do like France and at the same time I don't ...
3
votes
4answers
229 views

What is a better way to describe the “arbitrary” nature of the value of pi?

Edit: I think the point of my question's been missed. I'm well aware pi is well defined and calculable. However my question has to do with the metaphysical, not the physical. Not how does pi work out ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Soudness of an argument in natural language [closed]

Philosophers and participants on this boards love to talk about arguments and a few of them love to talk about soundness of arguments [like here What are some criticisms of Epicurus' "death ...
0
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0answers
55 views

Is Ordinary Language philosophy against the use of formal and mathematical methods in explaining philosophical concepts?

There has been few works defending Ordinary Language Philosophy (OLP) published in the past three decades. I was wondering if OLP implies the view (or is consistent with the view) that knowing what ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Is language a living system? [closed]

Think about it, the words behave like genes. Strongest words survive. Words mutate, combine, and cross. Words evolve. And we, people (with all our information carrying devices), are their environment.