Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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113 views

What is the name of the view that nothing is true?

Is there a name of the view that no statement is true? Such a person who holds that view believes that statement are meaningless sequences of marks on paper or a computer monitor and can't be true, ...
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174 views

What Would be the Global Impact and Viability of Having a Global First Language? [closed]

I understand the cultural value of a language, but how would our world look like if everyone spoke the same language? I always held a lot of thoughts for the lyrics of the song “Imagine” by the ...
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134 views

What actually is a simulation philosophically?

Everyone has heard of the idea that the universe might be a simulation - which we understand to mean that there is some computer in the "base" universe, which is running a program that is ...
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3answers
102 views

Infinite Regress in Language and Logic?

I had this idea, and it seems novel to me, but I'm wondering if there is a philosopher that addresses this issue already because I think it's kind of interesting. When making a logical statement, you ...
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1answer
116 views

What is Ruloff's theory on the origin of language? [closed]

The largest recorded brain in the U.S is said to belong to one Edward H. Rulloff. This guy wrote a book on his theory of the origin of languages shortly before his execution. What was his theory? Is ...
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51 views

If what you have to say is not going to help me with anything and if it's not true, don't say it!

I learned some years ago and now I'm finding it hard to remember it back. It was something like: If what you have to say is not going to help me with anything and if it's not true, don't say it! And I ...
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271 views

What is the philosophical term for using half-truths to intentionally mislead?

Our local school district has been distributing propaganda to support keeping schools open during an uncontrolled pandemic. There has been a common pattern among these statements, where a half-truth ...
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Can we make statements for persons/objects that cease to exist?

I am asking this question because I thought what truth value would have a have a quantifier over a set that contains persons that are dead. For example suppose I state: "For every x that is ...
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35 views

Are there any works that build upon or apply Wittgenstein's concept of language games?

I have almost finished Philosophical Investigations and was fascinated by it. Aside from Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition, which is by his own admission pretty bad, are there works that expand upon ...
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1answer
146 views

Does falsifiability imply meaningfulness and what are some of the drawback of falsifiability? [duplicate]

This is a combination of basically two different questions, but they are interrelated. My first question is pretty simple. Can we equate falsifiability and meaningfulness? I think at least in the ...
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44 views

What are the “Simples” Wittgenstein discusses in Philosophical Investigations?

I first came across this term in §39 of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, wherein he writes [O]ne is tempted to make an objection against what is ordinarily called a name. It can be put ...
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68 views

Should we define truth (given it exists)?

Should we, human-beings, try to define truth (given truth exists in reality)? Personally, I don't think we should reduce truth to symbols and syllables because I think it will take us into weird ...
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1answer
78 views

Why is it that philosophers use terms that aren't literally true in their literature?

In lectures and talks that I have attended/watched, I've noticed a propensity to use the term "move" when describing the primary driving force behind an argument. In context, it might sound ...
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1answer
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On Searle's _Proper Names_ (1958)

I just read Searle's article Proper Names (1958) which was published before Kripke's seminal take on the subject in Naming and Necessity (1980). I think it is a very lucid article but I have a ...
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134 views

Has Semiotics been adopted by any mainstream academic philosophers?

Semiotics, as developed by Pearce, Saussure, Barthes, and others can have very broad applications that overlap with epistemology, logic, and maybe even ontology. I don't believe it is always ...
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106 views

According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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156 views

Why is a well-understood theory easier to understand, and does this answer the question “Why is older philosophy 'easier' to understand”?

I know the question sounds weird, so I'll bring an example coming from my field: mathematics. One of the greatest mathematicians of all time is Gauss. One of his results is the "Remarkable ...
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31 views

Yablo's theory of aboutness: Upper bound and lower bound on subject matters

What does it mean that the following two condition defines respectively a lower bound and an upper bound in the set of subject matters of a sentence S in Yablo's theory of aboutness, and why, given ...
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38 views

Yablo's condition on “Truth about a subject matter”

In section 2.4 of "Aboutness" Yablo offers the following analysis of what does it mean that a statament is true about a certain subject matter/topic: So, what is the proposition we are ...
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1answer
203 views

What is the difference between properties and sets?

Is there a difference between properties and sets? To me, it would seem that the property of being non-self-identical is the same thing as the empty set, and the property of being (identical to x OR ...
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1answer
45 views

A clarification of nonexistence

This is similar to a question I asked long ago, but there was a misinterpretation. People often say that, for instance, unicorns don't exist, but isn't it more correct to say that there are no ...
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1answer
91 views

Is a set a concept?

Follow on from this question. Since sets have both intentional and extensional definition my thought is yes they are concepts. But maybe there is a technical reason that sets aren't concepts?
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118 views

Do the set of “Concepts” contain itself?

So I gather that a set containing itself is not allowed. Yet it seems like a set of all concepts (Concepts) should contain an element denoting the idea of "concept". Is it that there is a ...
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91 views

Are there examples of ideas that rationally-trained persons agree on?

This question is meant for a bit of fun as a comedic corollary to JDH's top-voted question, "What would it take in a book to convince a rational person that it had been written by or directly ...
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112 views

Why do we call “A or B Theories of Time” instead of “A or B Hypotheses of Time”?

Why do we call "A or B Theories of Time" instead of "A or B Hypotheses of Time" when the concepts are not yet proven by empirical evidence? We know, hypothesis: a supposition or ...
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128 views

Concepts possession conditions

As a consequence of my growing interest in epistemology, I recently read some articles about concepts. The authors were originating from different fields, such as philosophy of mind, language and ...
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5answers
233 views

What have philosophers had to say about something being ‘real’ vs ‘imaginary’?

How do philosophers approach this difference? Is the question the same as asking 'what is the difference between real and imaginary'? What makes something real vs imitation? And, why it is so ...
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131 views

What justification was there for Russell and Wittgenstein to posit 'atomism'?

In light of the history of philosophy's recognition that the scientific method appeared to be becoming a type of role model for the other 'natural' sciences and thus that obtaining to objective proof ...
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1answer
110 views

Mechanics of Thought Experiment

How do thought experiments work? We constantly see usage of thought experiments to argue some statements about 'real' world. I am interested in the operating mechanics of such experiments, the ...
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28 views

If Parfit's objectivism metaphysical?

In On What Matters, Derek Parfit argues that we sometimes have objective reasons to have certain desires or aims. I find this to be a metaphysical claim, and other philosophers (such as Michael Smith) ...
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249 views

What is a moral statement

Consider the following statements I feel lying is wrong. I prohibit lying. I dislike lying. I think lying is bad. Are these statements moral statements ? I think they only express a certain attitude ...
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1answer
73 views

For Frege, how do we grasp the sense of a sign?

I was wondering...since Frege stablishes a difference between the sense of a sign (the mode of presentation of a reference), it's reference (the actual object in the world) and the representation of ...
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3answers
93 views

Are There Finitary Logical Constraints on Converting Recursive Syntax to Semantics?

From the logical standpoint can we continue these series on and on and still be able to make sense of it? 1. I know <--- no problem 2. I know ...
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246 views

What's the difference between the necessary and sufficient conditions for an illocutionary act, and the act's constitutive rules?

My understanding is that, according to Searle the constitutive rules are the ones that make an act possible in the first place. His analogy is that, without the corresponding constitutive rules, ...
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1answer
89 views

Does the truth value of a material conditional depend on context?

Suppose the following material conditional "If 1+1=2 then Moon is made of cheese". The antecedent refers to the context of mathematics. In that context "1+1=2" is true. Whereas &...
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102 views

Statements about real world

We make statements like "This table is composed from atoms". This statement must be true or false. But what if tomorrow the atomic theory is completely abandoned and we work with another ...
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1answer
54 views

How much of a nonstarter is this argument that tautologies are (true-ish but) not true?

I am wondering how much of a nonstarter you think this argument is. I am also interested in suggestions concerning articles or books to read. (More recent works preferred, as I can follow their ...
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144 views

How to contradict a general statement?

Consider the statement, "All the geometrical shapes on the screen have radius equal to 6". Suppose on the screen we have 6 circles with radius equal to 6 and also 1 triangle. In order to ...
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45 views

Nietzsche's stance on how language makes us live in a world of “things” and “events”

In A Teacher's Introduction to Postmodernism by R. Linn, it says: Whereas Kant argued that the concept of a "thing", as opposed to en "event", was produced in consciousness as a ...
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93 views

(In)formal languages and meaning of words

I vaguely remember having heard that one can formally prove that no amount of (successful) communication between two people ensures that the assigned meaning of their words converges. I think it had ...
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1answer
82 views

Is “certainty” an either/or term or does it lay on a spectrum?

Is it just that you are either certain or uncertain, or can you be very certain and somewhat certain? If it’s either/or, I know it would make sense to say “almost certain,” but “very certain” wouldn’t ...
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69 views

Truth value for objects that are not included in definitions

Consider the statement "This triangle has radius 3" and the statement "This cat is a chihuahua". Both radius and chihuahua are terms defined for different kind of objects than the objects we are ...
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1answer
44 views

The form of elementary propositions in TLF

In Tractatus Wittgenstein states that: 4.22 An elementary proposition consists of names. It is a nexus, a concatenation, of names. Suppose now that L is a first order language. As far as I ...
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1answer
75 views

How can Native Americans regain sovereignty over their cultural institutions? [closed]

Daniel Wildcat, of Native American ancestry, made the following statement in a book he coauthored: Even though we can translate most of the realities of the Indian social world into concepts familiar ...
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291 views

Are opinions considered statements?

‘Aristotle was great’. Is this a statement? I consider a statement to be something either true or false (but not both). For an individual, this may be considered a statement (because either you ...
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1answer
110 views

Is this a logical fallacy? There exists unique x ∈ A. Therefore, there are some x ∈ A

GENERAL There exists exactly one x ∈ A. Therefore, there are some x ∈ A. EXAMPLE 1 CHILD: Sometimes you forget to pick me up from school. Therefore, I want to start walking home. PARENT: I have ...
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What is the difference between syntax, semantics and pragmatics?

I would be interested to find more about the way semantics intertwines with pragmatics. Naturally, I associate semantics with more conventional theories like Russell`s as opposed to Gricean ...
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1answer
95 views

How definition relates to abstract/concrete objects?

I am having a hard time to understand what a definition does. Is it an abbreviation we use instead of using too many words? But then why mathematicians define mathematical objects? Does it mean they "...
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122 views

Are specific concepts of objects temporary

We can define an "electrical device" as a device that works with electricity etc. Suppose that the theory of electromagnetism would be proved wrong in the future. Would then make sense to speak about "...
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What is the distinction between A-intension and C-intension?

I'm having a really hard time understanding a concept discussed in “Qualia and Analytic Conditionals” by Braddon-Mitchell and "Why We Need A-Intensions" by Jackson. Here's my extraction of these ...

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