Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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25 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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2answers
80 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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67 views

Factual Statements? What determines it?

Let's say someone is growing their hair. Someone asks: "Why are you growing your hair? Any specific reason?" He returns: "Yes, I am growing it into an afro." Let's pretend that ...
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159 views

A question on the proposition Nature = mathematics

Some philosophers and physicists claim that nature is mathematics at its foundations. This can be considered a non-transcendental form of Platonic realism. The problem I have with this statement is ...
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1answer
78 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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22 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
28 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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2answers
61 views

If-then statement and time between antecedent and consequent

Suppose the following statement. "If I kick the ball then the ball will hit the wall." Can this sentence have a truth value? I mean the time that I kick the ball, it hasn't reached the wall so the ...
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1answer
67 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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1answer
104 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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3answers
159 views

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
60 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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110 views

Are definitions 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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29 views

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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41 views

What are the similarities between Zellig Harris' work and Chomsky's early work of Generative grammars?

Since my knowledge of Chomsky's work is limited to context free grammars I am particularly interested in the relation of Zellig's work to Chomsky's conception of abstract syntax trees and automata ...
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151 views

Protreptic to Philosophy of Language?

I have a friend who is quite interested in language, the idea of language, and so on. I myself am a philosophy student but one who has not done much reading in phil of language. I'd like to find some ...
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30 views

Is it reasonable to conflate being and truth?

Let x be something that exists unequivocally. Then "x exists" is true, but does it make sense to say x itself is true? And vice versa - the proposition "x exists" is true, but is there a sense in ...
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202 views

How does Plato's theory of forms relate to his epistemology and philosophy of language?

In dialogues like Cratylus and Theatatus, it seems to me that Plato paints a very skeptical picture of our capacity to know or articulate knowledge. In Cratylus he doubts the possibility of language ...
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2answers
91 views

Mathematics vs Time

Suppose we have a person that one day states "x+3=5". The next day he again states "x+3=5". As events, we can say they are different but does the meaning of the expression has changed? It seems ...
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2answers
100 views

A philosophical problem on 'definition' of words [closed]

If I ask definition of anything, say point then the most likely reply I will get is " A point is that which has no part." But then I will ask what is 'part'? or what is 'no'? Then the reply will be ...
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95 views

If-then statements meaning in everyday vs mathematics

In mathematics when a "P implies Q" statement is true it means that every time P is true, Q is true also. What about everyday usage? For example consider the statement: "If it is raining, then I am ...
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3answers
114 views

How Does One Define a Keyboard?

Suppose we have 3 keyboards and we take out all the switches. Would we call these objects still "keyboards"? Someone could argue that these objects don't have switches so they can't be called "...
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71 views

Axiomatic system and symbolic, formal, mathematical language

Is there any need for axiomatic systems to be in a symbolic, formal, mathematical language? Equivalently is there any prohibition of axioms in axiomatic systems being in natural language? In other ...
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1answer
208 views

Difference between Frege and Russell on Definite Descriptions?

I'm relatively new to philosophy and I'm starting out with the 'staple' philosophers - namely Frege and Russell. I've read Frege's "Sense and Reference" and Russell's "On Denoting." One thing I have ...
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1answer
137 views

Collaborative work between Linguists and Computer Language designers to help fix the English Language

Is there work being done to help remove all the ambiguities and loose meaning of the English language by using low to mid level computer programming languages (avoiding more recent "high level" ...
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1answer
236 views

An English room inside Searle's Chinese Room?

The Chinese room experiment has a fundamental function of giving the system/person interacting with it the illusion that the room understands chinese, but it seems flaky to me what the term ...
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1answer
93 views

On reading Kripke

I've recently read that Saul Kripke has had a huge impact in philosophy over the last century, especially philosophy of language and "truth". My question is wether reading his works (or studying it ...
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1answer
45 views

Is this Quine example of 'logically true' statements irrefutably true?

In 'The Two Dogmas of Empiricism' Quine launches quite a compelling attack on the foundations of Reductionist Empiricism, particularly in its claims concerning analyticity. While this calling into ...
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1answer
143 views

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? [closed]

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? To me the meaning of a concept is equivalent to a sufficient and necessary condition with which to ...
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1answer
42 views

Gutenberg technology effects on human psyche

McLuhan is claiming that Gutenberg technology was the reason of human psyche fragmentation, primitivism and social conformism. I am trying to find links between Gutenberg technology and the phenomenon ...
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2answers
110 views

What does it mean when Hobbes says “round quadrangle” signifies nothing?

When Hobbes claims that “round quadrangle” (Leviathan, ch.IV) signifies nothing, what does that mean and why does it signify nothing?
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1answer
64 views

What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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35 views

Reference request: relationship between descriptions and things being described

I am not at all educated in philosophy, but was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I am looking for something that explores the relationship between the description of a thing, ...
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1answer
115 views

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said “knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement”?

What exactly is acknowledgement here?
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2answers
116 views

Are there some kinds of arguments in defense of Private Language?

Could the beetle in the box not play any role in our…?Or will the similar neurological constituents and the same physical input provide some supports to the "pain",in a (Kantian) way that each person ...
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60 views

What to read on how the philosophical understanding of the nature of philosophical topics, and being on- and off-topic, has evolved?

My focus is to study the topic of topic itself and topicality, that is how a message, a question either a discussion can be on- or off-topic. Which philosophers have been discussing this and what are ...
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1answer
75 views

Do we imagine the World?

If yes, please elucidate what must be the case such that we can make the statement : "We imagine the World". If no (or if the question is meaningless/absurd) please demonstrate using logical ...
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81 views

what's the exact meaning of “reference” in Luhmann's Texts?

in Niklas Luhmann's Texts, the form of Communication is the understanding(Verstehen) the difference between the information and the utterance(Mitteilung). He said, then we can know that the ...
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60 views

Bibliography for a beginner in philosophy of language

In my main time, I am a mathematician working in logic and category theory. As a logician, I am familiar with some bits of philosophy of language. Stuff I have read: Word and object, Quine. Naming ...
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1answer
158 views

Truth values of sentences

Frege proposed that the meaning of a sentence is its truth value in "Über Sinn und Bedeutung" (close to "On Sense and Meaning"). This is not correct because some (many) English sentences do not have ...
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1answer
102 views

How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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1answer
109 views

Are there any points of convergence between analytical and traditional concept based philosophy?

In many questions, answers and in comments, there appear to be differences in the type of answers and comments which fall into two roughly delineated trains of thought and exemplify the fault line ...
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1answer
268 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 ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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1answer
123 views

How does imprecise and ambiguous natural language relate to the equivocation fallacy and how can we know what words mean?

I am feeling really confused on how we colloquially use and redefine words and sometime use the equivocation fallacy. I have fallen into equivocation language traps before, and as I become more aware ...
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6answers
358 views

Liars paradox towards a solution?

This statement is not true 2.This statement is true only if true and not true. (1) and (2) are clearly different sentences, but do they express the same proposition? If yes, then it becomes clear ...
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2answers
181 views

Is “lacking belief in X” equivalent to “belief in the nonexistence of X”?

Often I see atheists say they do not have an active belief in the nonexistence of God, only a lack of belief in God. I see where they are coming from, but I have a suspicion that they're equivalent. ...
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1answer
158 views

Is there a form of set theory involving imperatives and interrogatives?

I finally read the article Is there a Logic of Imperatives? Conifold showed me and it elicited the question, for me, whether imperative programming is a form of imperative logic at all? The essay took ...
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2answers
131 views

Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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46 views

Freud's tripartite linguistic play

Maria Walsh in her book Art and Psychoanalysis says: Uncanny sensations are triggered in the present by the creepy evocation of a past that the subject has repressed, a past that should have ...

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