Questions tagged [natural-language]

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What is language? Why can I “just understand” it?

my mental health is deteriorating a bit. I just want to know why I can understand language and use it so easily to communicate to other human creatures without even trying. Is it just an “instrument ...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
50 views

The relationship between logical systems and natural language semantics

Every student of philosophy knows that there are systems of logic and that those systems are analyzed in terms of logical properties like soundness, consistency, decidability, completeness, etc. These ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
112 views

What is the logic of the coordinating conjunction BUT?

What is the logical difference between "and" and "but"? Is it really possible to oppose "and" and "but" in this sense? Is it really possible to reduce the logic ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
1k views

Who ever argued that natural languages have an exact logic?

Peter F. Strawson famously concluded his 1950 critique of Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions by the somewhat irrelevant remark that ordinary language has "no exact logic". Russell, in ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Going against the limits of language

I vaguely remember a sentence of Wittgenstein which was about the duty of philosophy: that is, to go against the limits of the language. This was in his late period of philosophy. What is the precise ...
Gergely's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
79 views

If moral statements aren't supposed to be reports of objective facts, does the practice of "fallacy checking" apply to moral arguments?

Maybe this is just a case of Jörgensen’s dilemma, but so I was reading the SEP article about feminist perspectives on argumentation, more specifically this passage: The difficulty some philosophers ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
94 views

Is disjunction pointless in intuitionistic logic?

Sec. 5.3 of the SEP article on constructive and intuitionistic set theories makes note of a property meant for theories that compromise on the LEM: A theory T has the disjunction property (DP) if ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
88 views

How would a logician define the phrase "all other things being the same"?

Here are some Examples of the Phrase All other things Being the Same All other things being the same, the juice of a Granny Smith Apple is more acidic than a the juice of a Red Delicious Apple. All ...
Toothpick Anemone's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
103 views

Does a definite description such as "the train" or "the student" always signal uniqueness of the referent?

Some authors claims that a definite description such as "the king" does not necessarily signal uniqueness. Examples given: (1) I’ve got this data from the student of a linguist. — Poesio (...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
54 views

Can formal languages have verbs?

Perhaps stupid question but I ask nonetheless. The question: Can Formal languages have a concept of a verb? If never, why can't they? Context: In natural language, we have verbs to describe action. In ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

Is natural language logic agnostic?

Is natural language logic agnostic? By that, I mean are there rules in classical logic that is implied to be true by natural language, are there logic rules in classical logic that must be true in ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
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Are the concept of time and space apriori to natural language or are they just references within natural language?

Are the concept of time and space apriori to natural language or are they just references within natural language? Time and space are fundamental concepts to existence and ontology. Natural languages ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
444 views

Why is math powerful?

I've been having this thought for days now, and I haven't been able to come up with a satisfactory answer. It seems to me that one can arguably caricature mathematics as an impoverished natural ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
94 views

Can we define a sequence of words?

Suppose that we define: "The president of USA" := John Is it correct to say that when we have a statement like: "The president of USA plays football". we can expand it like: "...
Anton's user avatar
  • 159
2 votes
1 answer
96 views

Is the semantic/model-theoretic regress an infinite, vicious regress? [closed]

Logic consists of proofs, not bold assertions. Semantics means assigning truth-values, it's kind of unavoidable, syntax alone is just string concatenation. You can't do away with axioms either. Also, ...
user59567's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
360 views

What does the emergence of different interpretations of Wittgenstein signify?

So I was listening to this Podcast about Wittgenstein the speakers are the Professor of Philosophy of University of South Hampton - Ray Monk, Senior Lecturer of University of York - Mary Macgin and ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

Do spoken languages have a sense of operators with 'order of operations'

This is something I came across while thinking about expressing a 'nested' choice, i.e. you make a choice where one of the options entails making another choice, for example, at college you could ...
Confused's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the logical function of “and/or”?

In natural language, we often use an enumeration or list of things with only a single logical operator. I am especially puzzled by the use of "and/or" and what it is supposed to mean in this ...
Egressy Tillor's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Why don't we say the "unreasonable effectiveness of language"?

What's so special or unique about mathematics that we keep coming back to this phrasing? It isn't universal concision - there are many concepts more concisely put in English than math. Like to show ...
J Kusin's user avatar
  • 2,666
3 votes
2 answers
202 views

Formal versions of exotic logical connectives in natural language

Formal logic tends to be concerned with minimal or at least almost-minimal sets of logical connectives. The standard logical connectives are and, or, implies, iff, neg (I couldn't use Latex for their ...
user56834's user avatar
  • 261
-1 votes
2 answers
110 views

Is it rational to use disjunctive imperative sentences?

Suppose you tell someone, "Go to the store or go to the creek." Now, if this person is otherwise predisposed to one option, and your command triggers this predisposition, then by issuing the ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
58 views

Is "always" omitted in mathematics?

Consider the statement: "For two numbers a,b their product is positive". For this statement to be true it must be true for every a,b right? So is the above statement equivalent to: "For two numbers a,...
ado sar's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
463 views

Logical fallacy: Person argues with wrong probability of event, without considering similar events

I know that this is a common error in argumentation that people make, but I don't know if there is a term for it. It's when people argue from an event being remarkable because of its low probability, ...
Bridgeburners's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
819 views

Does there exist a "valid" application of Gödel's incompleteness to "logical natural language statements"?

Does there exist a "valid" application of Gödel's incompleteness to "logical natural language statements"? It can be found to sometimes be naively applied that way, even when the incompleteness ...
mavavilj's user avatar
  • 3,036
1 vote
1 answer
318 views

Wittgenstein and theology

Wittgenstein noted that we engage in language games and quite often we borrow words from different games and misuse them such as using words with scientific connotations in religious discourse or ...
Aristotle Stagiritis's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
333 views

Language and Philosophy

It is clear that many words are defined by how they are used. That context defines the word. The setting of the environment together constitutes the context, and a word is a meaningless string which ...
Ajax's user avatar
  • 1,139
3 votes
0 answers
173 views

Relation of Mathematical Propositions to Natural Language

Treating Natural Language as a language game, what role does it play in our understanding of mathematics? Does natural language provide meaning to mathematics? Does a proof of a conjecture, say FLT,...
Ajax's user avatar
  • 1,139
0 votes
1 answer
334 views

Natural language into propositional logic

Need some help putting these two examples of natural language into sentence logic. For reference, use the transcription guide below: D = you think so; E = I think so; F = it is true If you think so, ...
A. Delarge's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

Where Wittgenstein argues that thinking is done in natural language?

I am looking for a precise reference where Wittgenstein writes about the use of ordinary language when people think, and that they do not use formal logic. Even in the case of mathematics. Can you ...
Gergely's user avatar
  • 117
2 votes
1 answer
279 views

Questions about the relationship between Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and Tractatus

I've read the Tractatus and am now working my way through Investigations, and I have a few questions about their relationship to one another. Obviously I've heard that the latter is critical of the ...
kjakeb's user avatar
  • 141
5 votes
5 answers
501 views

Is an argument in natural language as logically valid as in formal logic?

Is a natural language philosophical argument which is argued strictly from first principles widely considered equally as valid as a proof written in formal logic?
tom894's user avatar
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