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Questions tagged [meaning]

The relationship among signs and the kinds of things they intend, express, or signify; a concept central to semantics which is the study of how meaning comes about.

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3 votes
1 answer
44 views

Which is better, an empirical basis for the meanings of the logical connectives or a relevance logic definition of them, and why?

em·pir·i·cal / emˈpirikəl/ (also em·pir·ic) • adj. based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic: they provided considerable empirical evidence ...
4 votes
5 answers
124 views

If some one believes that nothing really matters but he still seeks love [closed]

If someone believes that nothing really matters, but he still seeks love even though he thinks that even the love he seeks doesn't matter and doesn't have meaning, but he can not stop the urge of ...
3 votes
0 answers
65 views

Has Derrida elaborated on the importance of word order?

Derrida's différance suggest that Words and signs only acquire meaning through their differences from other words and signs. But in addition to difference from other words, word order is also ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Can we define a logical constant to be a symbol that has the same meaning in all minds? [closed]

I just looked up the definition of "logical constant" in Wikipedia, and I came across the following definition: A logical constant is a symbol in symbolic logic that has the same meaning in ...
18 votes
9 answers
6k views

Does the success of AI (Large Language Models) support Wittgenstein's position that "meaning is use"?

By 'success' we think of current AI/LLMs capacity of producing text that is regarded as coherent, informative, even convincing, by human readers [see for instance Spitale et al. and Salvi et al.] ...
4 votes
1 answer
81 views

Russell's "On Denoting"

“If u is a unit class, the u is a u.” This proposition ought to be always true, since the conclusion is true whenever the hypothesis is true. But “the u” is a denoting phrase, and it is the denotation,...
0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Does Kant's scheme for the analytic/synthetic distinction have room for a (degenerate?) further distinction, for "hyperanalytical" knowledge?

Kant can be easily misread (or: I myself easily misread him, for a long time) as claiming that no "existence claims" are analytically knowable. Technically, though, his system has it that (...
3 votes
3 answers
120 views

What should I read on a journey of self discovery?

This year my goal is to do some self discovery. To understand my values, purpose, goals, and desires better. I think philosophy can help me with this. Where should I start? What reading would you ...
3 votes
2 answers
380 views

Can meaning indeterminately be said to be indeterminate?

James Ross has given several reasons as to why he believes thought (and formal thought especially) is determinate. Among these, and under a formulation put forward by the contemporary philosopher ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

What is respect? [closed]

“Respect”, “respectful”, and “disrespectful” are concepts we regularly hear being used, yet it has not always been clear to me if there is any essential underlying characteristic conveyed by these ...
3 votes
1 answer
226 views

Why is Davidson's Swampman not an argument against Davidson's semantic theory?

In the swampman argument, Davidson imagines a character named Swampman, who is spontaneously formed from a swamp due to a freak lightning strike. This strike coincidentally arranges a swarm of ...
0 votes
7 answers
349 views

Without good and evil, are we left with mediocrity only?

If there is no good or evil, then we could have done better with the climate crisis, we maybe could have stopped the world being burnt, but it doesn't matter, it's just that money was more important. ...
1 vote
2 answers
44 views

If p then it is not obligatory to know p and if not p then it is not obligatory to know not p → not obligatory to know p or not p?

Suppose that if I am happy I am not obliged to know it, and if I am not happy I am not obliged to know it, then does that mean that I am not obliged to know if I am happy or not? It seems non ...
2 votes
2 answers
368 views

Are some narratives worse than death?

Are some narratives worse than death? I'm not talking about psychological or physical suffering, but narratives (what actually happens, as we understand that, as humans) that are worse than it just ...
-1 votes
1 answer
100 views

Does the universe have an ultimate purpose? [closed]

Objective purpose is an alternative? Universal, fundamental purpose?
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

Is philosophy the pursuit of wisdom? [closed]

What is philosophical discourse? What fundamental principles are involved?
4 votes
6 answers
171 views

Can purpose be attributed to events without grounding in agency

As observers we observe events around us. All events have causes, either deterministic causes or non-deterministic ones. As observers however we can additionally attribute purpose (or meaning as in ...
-4 votes
2 answers
137 views

What is philosophical discourse? [closed]

Is philosophical discourse about the pursuit of wisdom? What principles are involved?
6 votes
3 answers
149 views

Michael Dummett on the indeterminacy thesis

In his work "The Significance of Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis," Michael Dummett explores Quine's philosophy. In the beginning of section 3, he states: "Indeterminacy of translation ...
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

Is meaning on the cognitive or meta cognitive level?

So if we didn't have meta cognition we wouldn't say I have anger, rather, we would say I am anger. Now, in the same way is finding meaning a cognitive or meta cognitive function? Naively, I would ...
3 votes
2 answers
277 views

Is it possible for words to have a meaning other than how they are used?

Wittgenstein's language game concept holds that the meaning of a word can only be derived from its usage. However, some philosophers contend that some words have meanings other than that implied by ...
0 votes
0 answers
31 views

Is there a domain of discourse in which the trivial/nontrivial distinction breaks down?

Let us suppose that we commonly imagine that problems have sets of solutions, wherein there are empty solutions, trivial ones, and then nontrivial ones. Add further that we have a relatively stable ...
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Can we evaluate life, existence and/or consciousness itself according to criteria that exist within it?

The idea of a criteria, of evaluation, of meaning, of assigning characteristics, of judging things as positive or negative or neutral, only exists as a subset of existence as far as I can tell. In ...
3 votes
2 answers
117 views

Implicature justification for translating "P unless Q" as (¬Q → P)

In The Laws of Truth, Smith translates utterances of the form "P unless Q" as (¬Q → P) and takes the further suggestion that (Q → ¬P) to be an implicature of the utterance. The justification ...
0 votes
3 answers
70 views

Does meaning begin with what can usefully be inferred?

There's linguistic meaning, and then there's meaning in the sense of purpose. I want to talk about a kind of non-linguistic, non-purposeful meaning. Let me give a few examples. You see that the lower ...
3 votes
3 answers
855 views

Axioms, meaning, and notation

According to at least one philosophy of mathematics, the axioms determine the meaning of the primitive symbols that are used in the axioms. The phrase "used in" is somewhat imprecise, so ...
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

What's the meaning of"reconstruction" and "elements" in the context? [closed]

An article on the topic of idealism claims that, from the idealist point of view: The universe can be comprehended through the mind, because both mind and the universe are reconstructed of the same ...
0 votes
2 answers
96 views

Is asking to align on definition during a debate a derailling or disingenuous demand?

In a recent discussion with a group of friends, we found ourselves in a situation where we appeared to be using the same word, but it became evident that we held different meanings for it. At that ...
1 vote
0 answers
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What would it mean for the herd to be victorious over the overman?

What would it mean for the herd to be victorious over the overman? What would that amount to? I assume that the herd has its perverse plans, born out of ressentiment, for the ubermensch, and they will ...
6 votes
5 answers
567 views

How does the Buddhist pursue meaning?

So I don't think positions like existentialism exist in Buddhist philosophy. I say this because the whole framing of causality is fundamentally different in Nagarjuna's treatise of dependent ...
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

A position that claims meanings can't be abstract (but abstract objects still might exist)?

Is my titular question trivial, vacuous, encompasses every philosopher ever, none ever, or only encompasses a non-empty subset? I think there are different positions on it. If meanings aren't abstract,...
1 vote
2 answers
198 views

Are there contemporary analytic defenders of the view that pattern/meaning is metaphysically fundamental and directly knowable?

Background: Much of philosophy since Kant has taken for granted that our basic experience of reality is structured by our cognitive apparatus, including notably our background conceptual frameworks. ...
1 vote
4 answers
136 views

If it doesn't matter to you whether something is AI, then do you matter?

If it doesn't matter to you whether something is AI, then do you matter? I won't bother clarifying every inference (there's a few) that is being made there, if only because the conclusion is very ...
2 votes
1 answer
100 views

If a statement and its negation are in-principle-indistinguishable empirically, can it mean anything at all?

There exists a category of syntactically valid declarative statements which appear intuitively like they are descriptions of reality - but which no possible measurement could distinguish from their ...
0 votes
2 answers
99 views

What is the idea is that "if a sentence is meaningless, then its negation is also meaningless"?

I remember hearing somewhere that this notion was a positivist or Wittgensteinian idea (?) but I cannot find info on it via Google search or Chat-GPT. I am curious whether this criterion is true, ...
2 votes
1 answer
58 views

What does J.S. Mill mean by "if they can once get their creed taught from authority"?

What does J.S. Mill mean by "if they can once get their creed taught from authority"? Does it mean that they receive the authority's creed and consider it their own creed, or that they ...
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

How does culture add meaning to acts?

Suppose we take Thanksgiving in America, then on the day of it, eating a turkey is expected and seen as a highly meaningful activity. However, eating it the day after, or a week after or a month after,...
0 votes
7 answers
277 views

Is the pleasure of drugs better than long term achievements? [closed]

If there are currently drugs which release more dopamine and other chemicals in the brain on a level which cannot be replicated naturally, why aren't more people taking them, considering you cannot ...
2 votes
3 answers
124 views

Where is the line between semantics and ontology?

To be more specific, for a long time, it's seemed to me that a lot of open questions in philosophy, such as "What is consciousness?" or "What is truth?" come down, in large part, ...
2 votes
0 answers
70 views

A refutation of Kripke's Feynman-Gellman case?

McGinn explains Kripke's Feynman-Gellman problem as follows (Philosophy of Language: The Classics Explained) Most people are not experts in physics and will not be able to tell you what Feynman's ...
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Comedy we play everyday and pretend everything is fine?

I am sure it has a name or is covered by a movement, and I am sure that many philosophers have already talked about this, but I have this on my mind more and more everyday. It is obvious, but how can ...
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

How does one discover their personal meaning?

The question stems from this question. I attempted an answer, but the question I mentioned here was the obstruction from finishing. In the conventional sense, as also put by the question, meaning is, ...
0 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the meaning of "epistemic", "epistemological" and "ontological" in this context?

I was reading The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky and in some paragraphs of this books, The writer uses the words "epistemic",...
1 vote
1 answer
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Where does this concept of existence fall?

In exploring the questions of existence, I came to this concept. I am curious if anyone has any feedback or can point me to any other materials or ideas that relate to this? I am sure I am not the ...
0 votes
0 answers
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For what theories of meaning are ambiguous referents problematic?

Suppose I am talking to an English friend of mine and I say, "Boston is in Massachusetts." Since I am referring to the American city, I consider this sentence to be true. My friend evaluates ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Reversed Twin Earth: example from history of science

I'm looking for a real example from history of science, in which one thing is discovered to actually be two different things. This is a kind of a reversed Twin Earth experiment: Oscar's community is ...
0 votes
4 answers
157 views

Can you think of the bible as organising logos?

Can you think of the bible as organising logos? I know there are different readings of the bible, as myth, as parable, as event, etc.. What sort of reading is that claim, that the Christian bible ...
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

What decides when a conceptual analysis is 'complete'?

When an analysis of a concept is given like "A bachelor is an unmarried male." How is it decided if the analysis is correct and complete? Is there any way we can 'check' an analysis?
3 votes
2 answers
193 views

Do we have to know certain things in order to die authentically happily?

Do we have to know certain things in order to die authentically happily? I am especially interested in things we don't need to know know in order to live happily, but nevertheless we do to die happily....
3 votes
5 answers
125 views

Devising mathematical or quantitative theories of meaning

Around 1948, the mathematician and electrical engineer Claude E. Shannon presented work that would eventually lead to information theory. A mathematical theory based on uncertainty and probability, ...