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Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

for philosophical questions concerning the nature, origins, and usage of natural language

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Please what do we call this type of hypothetical statement?:

"It is certain you have a nose when you can smell but not everyone with a nose can smell". Or "It is certain you have a brain when you can think. But not everyone with a brain can think" Note: As I ...
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119 views

Does anyone know any philosophers who engage with (ordinary language) dictionaries in their work?

This may be a strange question, but here's the breakdown. I work on a concept that has received very little philosophical attention. For this reason, I have to consult good old dictionaries (Oxford, ...
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1answer
772 views

Is it possible that a question has only two answers?

□ yes □ no "no" implies that a closed system with only two options like the one above is impossible. If you accept that such a system is possible by the way, it generates paradoxical results, since ...
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1answer
69 views

Frege: Truth as an expression of assertoric force

I am writing an essay on Frege's redundancy theory of truth. As far as I have read, his theory is that the word 'true' does not add anything to the thought of a sentence in which it appears, however, ...
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45 views

Philosophy of great thinkers [closed]

What are the basics to learn and examine the philosophy of famous thinkers without developing a biased attitude?
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1answer
64 views

What are some opinions about what beauty is in poetry?

I am interested in hearing some explanations about what beauty is in poetry and subjectively define what makes a poem beautiful.
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1answer
63 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 ...
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1answer
74 views

When to label a philosopher as either a western philosopher or an eastern philosopher? [closed]

The criterion that determines a person who is professionally trained in philosophy and does philosophical research, to be either a western or eastern philosopher is not clear to me. Suppose, we have ...
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Relation of Propositions to Reality

Consider world. I see the world, note some state of affairs, and I make some interesting proposition P which describes it. Another person now reads it. What the other person sees is just P. This P is ...
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3answers
123 views

On Truth and Lying

If A, consciously, reports false data to B, and B (or anyone else) has no way to verify, then no one can make the statement, "A lied". So, there exists no such person with respect to whom A lied. ...
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Grice: Comparing Natural Meaning, Non-Natural Meaning, Conventional Implicature and Generalized Conversational Implicature

I am currently reading "Meaning" and "Logic and Conversation" by Paul Grice. I find it a little difficult to differentiate clearly between his concepts "natural meaning", "non-natural meaning", "...
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228 views

Are there any attempts to define “doubt”?

Traditionally, Knowledge is defined as a True Justified Belief (Let us ignore epistemic caveats and objections to this definition). According to Wittgenstein, there is no place for knowledge where ...
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1answer
113 views

Philosophers who did not think that language is more special than cognition as a whole

There are pretty many philosophers who talked and wrote on the philosophy of language. Usually language only means the use of words and symbols, however, I noticed that symbols may have different ...
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118 views

Wittgenstein and the meaning of intermediate cases

I am reading Wittgenstein's philosophical investigations and want to understand what intermediate cases are. In paragraph 122 Wittgenstein writes in the first section A main source of our failure ...
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2answers
74 views

Meaning, Properties and Definition

According to my understanding, language is an attempt to describe the properties of objects. A sentence can only succeed so far as to be able to list the properties or characteristics. There are ...
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2answers
52 views

What irreducible functions constitute thinking?

Because all new knowledge, to be not illogical, must obey logic i.e. every thinking step must be consistent with rules of logic; so can we write an effective procedure/algorithm which may be followed ...
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143 views

Is there a natural example of a non-self-referential semantic paradox in philosophy?

A commonly studied paradox is the liar's paradox. The liar's paradox is to determine whether "this statement is false". The usual resolution is to state this the sentence is not actually a statement ...
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1answer
87 views

What does Tarski mean when he says that truth is a property of sentences?

A fundamental statement of Tarski's Theory of Truth is that truth is a property of sentences. What does this statement mean? What kind of Truth is it referring to? What is the formal definition of '...
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1answer
60 views

Measurement units and metaphysical necessity

I understand Kripke as arguing (in Naming and Necessity) that "a meter" is a rigid designator - it designates the same length in all possible worlds (on the other hand "the standard stick is a meter ...
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3answers
164 views

Are there many minds or is there only one?

"If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it" - Ludwig Wittgenstein Machines vs Chaos of Human Language Mathematical Consensus Is a proof still valid if only the author understands it? ...
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3answers
92 views

Can art be honest?

I was watching an episode of "Penny Dreadful" (ep.04 of season 1, here's the YouTube link for the scene in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxp21dbnRnA). In this episode, Dorian Gray (the one ...
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1answer
100 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 ...
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37 views

Does Langan think syntax is meaning free isomorphic structures?

Refer: Christopher Langan, "An Introduction to Mathematical Metaphysics", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 13, no. 2, 2017 Accepting syntax is that part or ...
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4answers
118 views

Non Cyclic definition of life/death? [closed]

Life and death have a cyclic dictionary definition. Can one not be defined without the other? ( a question on philosophy of language) I am hypothesizing that the immediate words that come to the ...
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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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4answers
158 views

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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3answers
137 views

How can truth exist if every statement is ambiguous? [closed]

I have read online and personally believe that every statement has some degree of ambiguity to it. With this in mind, I was wondering how any propositions can be true. For example, I have heard some ...
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2answers
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Analogy and hypothetical reasoning

Many times we use hypothetical analogies to make a difference more clear. For example suppose we have John and George and John is faster than George. We can say if John and George were vehicles , John ...
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1answer
153 views

How did Wittgenstein become interested in the philosophy of language?

As far as I know he was doing engineering and became interested in the foundations of mathematics and went to Frege and upon his advice he went to study logic from Russell. So what happened which ...
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38 views

Can Frege overcome Russell's critique in “On denoting”?

I would like to know what would be the best way to overcome the criticism of Frege laid out by Russell in "On denoting", especially in regard to the third "paradox" presented. This paradox states ...
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46 views

Making Moral Judgement: Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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1answer
61 views

Is logic a consequence of structure of language i.e. syntax?

I was reading the paper An elucidatory reading of the Tractatus and in page-3 section- Ineffabilist Readings, it was written "The order in our propositions, which renders them capable of thus ...
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1answer
176 views

What is the subject of Tractatus by Wittgenstein?

Is Tractatus about the Philosophy of language or Philosophy of logic. I was hearing John Searle's lecture and he said there are two strands in Philosophy of language :- 1. Logical theory of language 2....
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What criteria does Frank Jackson give in order to assert the negation of a conditional?

In Frank Jackson's paper, On Assertion and Indicative Conditionals he gives a criteria for when one should assert a conditional (material conditional). This criteria is given in terms of conditional ...
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2answers
150 views

Can philosophy make predictions? [closed]

Philosophy, one may state, is a field where one makes descriptive statements about the world - whether it's in ethics, metaphysics, logic, or any other philosophical study. For example "the world is ...
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2answers
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What is the relevance of Kripke’s modal argument against Frege’s description theory of names?

I am trying to learn a bit about the philosophy of language and I am puzzled by Kripke’s modal argument against Frege’s description theory of names. I’m guessing, and guessing is what I mean since I ...
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43 views

Is this a solution to the disjunction problem of causal representation?

As I understand it, the disjunction problem is how could a causal theory of inner representation account for mistaken identification of external objects or object types. For example, if I see a fox ...
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4answers
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Can a reason cost 5 dollars?

Imagine a school where no one can wear a red hat. John goes to school with a red hat costing 5 dollars. Someone says John's red hat "is" the reason why he can't get into the school. What is the ...
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2answers
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Is there a rigorous definition of ‘everything’?

Is there a rigorous definition for this concept? ‘The collection of every individual thing’? If an ‘individual thing’ is something that is different from something else, ‘everything’ could be the ...
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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?
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1answer
68 views

Does relationism resolve the Sorites paradox?

The ancient Sorites paradox, 1 grain of wheat does not make a heap. If 1 grain doesn’t make a heap, then 2 grains don’t. If 2 grains don’t make a heap, then 3 grains don’t. … If 999,999 grains ...
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141 views

Understanding McDowell's Mind and World

In "Mind and World" John McDowell takes a Sellarsian approach, claiming that the given is a myth. Yet, he says, if I understand him correctly, the space of reasons is not a mere "spinning in the void",...
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Existentialism and bad faith

Where do the values that existentialists formulate come from? If accepting a path laid out by someone else is considered "bad faith", then can we accept values shared with anyone other than ourselves? ...
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1answer
99 views

Is concept abstract or concrete noun

Concepts are mental and abstract objects or fundamental building blocks of thoughts. Abstract nouns are nouns that name abstract concepts, or concepts that cannot be experienced with the senses. In ...
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1answer
142 views

Is ordinary language philosophy dead?

Wikipedia states that It is now not uncommon to hear that Ordinary Language philosophy is no longer an active force. Wittgenstein is perhaps the only one among the major figures of linguistic ...
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2answers
150 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 ...
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1answer
87 views

Are propositions of logic for the tractarian Wittgenstein “sinnlos satze”?

For the tractarian Wittgenstein propositions of logic did not have a meaning because logic was only an instrument. Given that he divided meaningless propositions into unsinnig satze (nonsense) and ...
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1answer
58 views

Differences and similarities between Kuhn and Quine about the indeterminacy of translation

About Thomas Kuhn's semantic incommensurability: 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 ...
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3answers
57 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 ...
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1answer
66 views

What is an example of a predictive conditional?

Can someone explain to me with an example what a predictive conditional is? Does this type of conditional have necessary and sufficient conditions?