Questions tagged [language]

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7
votes
6answers
4k views

Why are conditionals with false antecedents considered true?

I don't understand what conceptual sense this scenario makes, or what the motivation behind the decision to make conditionals with a false antecedent true was. Can anyone help me understand this? ...
6
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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?
7
votes
2answers
987 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 ...
29
votes
14answers
11k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

If "the limits of my language are the limits of my world", then how can it be that "what can be shown, cannot be said"?

I'm trying to understand Wittgenstein, but two of his most oft quoted statements seem to me to be implying contradicting things. I understand that later Wittgenstein did refute a lot of his earlier ...
14
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
9answers
10k 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 "...
8
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
253 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
334 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
7answers
5k views

Should I learn German to read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in German?

Does learning German and reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in German add clarity or insight or improve the understanding; or does reading the English translation suffice? How much more ...
7
votes
3answers
282 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

Solving a proof in which the goal is the negation of a variable in Fitch

I'm working on an assignment and I'm stuck on this proof. I feel like I'm on the right track but I can't find the way to prove the goal. A ^ B (A ^ ~C) --> ~D A -> ~C (B ^ E) --> (C v D) ~E I ...
1
vote
2answers
147 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

When writing, why would a conclusion precede a premise? [closed]

Source: Lecture 2-2 (transcription), ... How to Reason and Argue, by Prof W Sinnott-Armstrong. [At the 0 min 11 secs juncture:] The actual word order doesn't always tell us the order of ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? [closed]

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? If so, what would that expression refer to, a present that did not chnage tense?
0
votes
3answers
176 views

Does Math, or analogically Language really have any impact on our "Thoughts"?

Here I see many say, language has an important impact on our thoughts. But according to this question, Foucault in the preface to The Order of Things wrote how he 'laughed out loud' when he ...