Questions tagged [meaning]

**NOTE: This tag should not be used.** For questions about the nature of meaning, please use "philosophy-of-language" if you want to ask about the meaning of some quote or idea, please use the name of that idea.

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In the context above, does "the suffering" refer to "animal suffering"?

However, as Bentham realized, most human beings are capable of different sorts of pleasure and pain from other animals. If we focus on the experience of pain, through language we are able to ...
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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 ...
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Name for a form of naturalism that allows for abstract objects

Some of the more pressing arguments against materialism involve their inability to account for abstract objects such as meaning or reference. A few definitions before I continue: Abstract object: an ...
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What determines boundaries? [closed]

There are a lot of boundaries in the world. There are boundaries between the countries on a map of the world, there are cultural boundaries, there is a boundary between people (or not), aspace may ...
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What does a 'reading' mean?

Many guides and secondary text are called 'readings' e.g. Oxford Readings in Philosophy. What does it mean? Does this 'reading' specifically refer to a particular interpretations of the original texts ...
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132 views

How is Authenticity affected by external influences?

Originally I had titled this as concerning "being yourself" but it appears this concept is already defined in Philosophy as "Authenticity". A few specifics to clarify on ...
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162 views

What word do we use when we can't find an adequate one to convey what we mean?

Our unconscious minds do not process words, which are far too cumbersome and limited. They process meaning, which originates with stimulation and then moves from Recognition to Evaluation, Reaction ...
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Can a carrier of contradicting thoughts be called hypocrite?

Can a carrier of contradicting thoughts be called hypocrite? We know when people do/pretend something which he does not believe/poses, we call them hypocrite. Now what will happen if someone does not ...
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What is meaning if it is not context?

It is often said that "meaning is context". This is a hollow definition because the context has its own meaning, which is its wider context, and so on until all contexts have been exhausted. ...
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What is the meaning of this aphorism by Merleau-Ponty

What is the meaning of this aphorism by Merleau-Ponty We are condemned to meaning, and we cannot do or say anything without its acquiring a name in history and is it true?
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Are there any fancy terms for the "supposed meaning" of the text and the "actual meaning" of the text?

I am currently writing a software requirements document. It is supposed to be modified and updated by the software developers. I would like to categorize the possible changes. To do this, I introduce ...
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"There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking" - What does this quote mean?

I saw this quote from Nietzsche in the preface of one of Harold Bloom's Shakespearean Analysis books. It says: "That for which we find words is something that is already dead in our hearts. ...
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Just what does closure mean in philosophy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_closure What does closure mean? I am not sure what closure means when used in the context of philosophy. I keep seeing the term closure being used in philosophy, ...
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Negative meaning in Structuralism

I have a hard time understanding the concept of "negative meaning" in linguistic Structuralism (Saussure). Their proposition is that signs don't have meaning by themselfes but only within ...
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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",...
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Marcus Aurelius' progression in stoic thought

In what is ascribed to be Verse 18, Book V of Marcus Aurelius' Mediations, Marcus writes: [1] "Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear." Alternative ...
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Why is reason negative according to Hegel?

Reason is negative and dialectical because it resolves determinations of understanding into nothing; it is positive because it generates the universal and comprehends the particular therein. Hegel, ...
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What does "logically prior" mean? [closed]

I'll bold a few examples that Google yielded. Logical Form (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Frege's leading idea was that propositions have “function-argument” structure. Though for Frege, ...
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370 views

Are beautiful things difficult?

As you may already know, the dialogue Hippias Major ends with the following asseveration by Socrates: So, I think, Hippias, that I have been benefited by conversation with both of you, for I think ...
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How closely is deconstruction tied to the plurality of meaning?

How closely is deconstruction tied to the plurality of meaning? the instability and plurality of meaning Derrida on Heidegger: the break with the horizon of communication as the communication ...
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What does “there is something that it is like” in Thomas Nagel's “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” mean?

I was reading The enigma of human consciousness in ANNALS of the New York Academy of Sciences and this came up: think it’s very hard to define consciousness in terms of anything more basic than ...
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Is verificationism dead?

A long time ago, I was taught that logical positivism, though very productive in explicating what it means for one science to reduce to another (e.g. chemistry to physics), died because the ...
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Can every thought in the mind called a thing

This is a metaphysical (ontology) question. I'm looking for the appropriate ontological terminology, as 'thing' seems like it is ordinary language. I know that every entity in the physical world can ...
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If I think life has meaning, then does that mean life is not meaningless? [closed]

I see some people say that life/existence is meaningless. However, I assign existence with meaning, therefore it's NOT meaningless. Yes?
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What is the meaning of "Philistine utilitarianism"?

I was wondering what is the meaning of "Philistine utilitarianism"? I saw this in a couple of articles and I wanna know that Is it a term or Should I read it literally; that is, anti-intellectual ...
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Is this quote flawed when it comes to not understanding racism and also not admiring it? [closed]

Can anyone please help me with how to respond to someone who has told me that he doesn't understand racism and can't admire it either? Is it possible that someone doesn't get what racism is? Here is ...
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What is the meaning of this Chuang-Tzu quote?

What is the meaning of this quote ? Also, what can one take away from this ? …the wise man looks into space and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too big, for he ...
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Is all language meaningful?

Wittgenstein claimed that many philosophers misuse language and write nonsense. He later claimed that a private language, one that cannot in principle be understood, is impossible. Does that suggest ...
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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 ...
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Under what definitions of truth and knowledge (especially Bayesian) are 'definitely knowing' and 'certain' different

Under what definitions of truth and knowledge are 'definitely knowing' and 'certain' different? Apologies if too much of a semantic question, but I think we should agree that we can have a sense of ...
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Meaning in use and naturalisation of intentionality

What is the relation between pragmatism and intentionality? Two different enterprises in philosophy seem to be well established and yet contradicting: Inferential Pragmatism: from Wittgenstein and ...
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The myth of the given and externalism

According to Wilfrid Sellars any talk of a given out there should be condemned as a mere myth. Therefore, nothing from the physical world outside can limit our language - the "space of reason", and ...
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Which philosophers would argue that hard determinism makes life more purposeful than randomness?

It appears to me that randomness could or could not produce something meaningful but either way hard determinism seems a better bet. Is there a writer who explores this territory?
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How do you talk about unclear or indefinite statements

In logic a statement can be the assertion that is made by a true or false declarative sentence... a statement is viewed as a truth bearer However, in everyday speech a statement is a definite ...
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What analytic philosophers were concerned with meaninglessness?

What analytic philosophers were concerned primarily with meaninglessness, and where can I read what they said about it? I just find the idea interesting, but I want to circumvent existentialism for a ...
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In which sense Quine denies that the translated expressions do have a meaning?

Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are translating one language into another, there are ...
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What does it mean to say what happens in your experience is inside your mind in a way in which what happens in your brain is not?

"If what happens in your experience is inside your mind in a way in which what happens in your brain is not, it looks as though your experiences and other mental states can't just be physical ...
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317 views

Philosophical approach for discussing the meaning of many words?

I lack a good background in philosophy and often get stuck while trying to understand it. There is a particular issue that keeps me from understanding or enjoying or appreciating many videos or texts ...
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Is "quality of life" an in-efficacious measure for a "meaningful life"?

Definitions Quality of life (QOL) is the general well-being of individuals and societies, outlining negative and positive features of life. It observes life satisfaction, including everything from ...
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In the joke about math vs. philosophy, why don't philosophy departments need erasers? [closed]

I don't understand the joke (before the era computing) quoted by Peter Flom: The math department is the 2nd cheapest one to supply in the university: All the[y] need are pencils, paper and erasers. ...
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Purposelessness and DNA Propagating

Positivist evolutionary biologists claim that living beings are nothing but byproduct of purposeless random evolution. (For example, say, a flower is just a DNA propagating machine.) I am especially ...
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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 ...
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Help to explain the meaning of work beyond the sole purpose of making money

My brother is obsessed with money and I feel like the sole reason he works is to make money, I think in your work you should aim for goals of higher value ie. not only should you earn money but your ...
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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 ...
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What is Derrida's différance?

I am very perplexed by the concept of différance. Is it even a concept at all? I've had some sources saying otherwise. How should I interpret this?
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Does an overridden duty still exist while it is overridden?

I'm an LSAT instructor and I've been stuck on the following LSAT question ever since I first saw it. This question is in the only freely available LSAT (Section 3, #18). If this question is wrong ...
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What's the name of the argumentation position / logical fallacy of saying "well prove it doesn't exist"

For e.g someone says they believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. When you ask for evidence they reply: "well, prove it doesn't exist!" Surely it's the prerogative of the believer to provide ...
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What is the name of the fallacy when someone conflates a motivation for one of the variables?

Some examples: "An atheist killed someone. They killed them because they were an atheist." "A man strangled his wife. He is clearly a misogynist." As you can see, one variable has been extrapolated ...
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What fallacy infers motivation from mere description?

Here's some example: "Men dominate women in the majority of fortune top 100 CEO positions" "Women dominate men in primary school teaching jobs" Neither the men nor the women are actually purposely ...
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What's the term/phrase when someone assumes you take on the diametrically opposed view simply because you negate a position?

What's the term/phrase when someone assumes that you take on the diametrically opposed view simply because you disagree with a position? For example, I recently posted an article challenging ...