Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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What is the distinction Donnellan uses between referential use and attributive use in regards to Strawson and Russell?

Donnellan called attention to what he called the referential use, as opposed to the attributive use, of a definite description. Donnellan’s objection to the Theory of Descriptions is just that ...
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42 views

Logical, semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truth teller and the Liar (draft) can an expert on the matter give feedback?

Title: Logical semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truthteller and the Liar (draft, informal) (major) assumption: A statement is either true or not true (law of excluded middle, classical ...
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44 views

Popper on metaphisics [on hold]

It'a actually a simple question, not articulated at all. What's the role of metaphisic for Popper? I know that for him philosophy is not just non-sense nore simply a "lenguage clarificator", but apart ...
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56 views

Intellectual History of Idea in A Geneaology of Morals Essay One

In Nietzsche's first essay in A Geneaology of Morals, he suggests that use of language in which subjects and verbs are distinguished may influence or at least correspond to conceptual distinctions in ...
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Can a Rigid Designator still exist if there is only one possible world?

According to Kripke, a rigid designator is a pronoun (but not all pronouns are rigid designators) and they pick out the same unique individual in each possible world. I understand this, however, if ...
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71 views

What are the limits of language?

Provably (or by sufficiently rigorous arguments), what are the limits of language (natural & formal)? What can a language not speak about? If there is something non-senseless which language cannot ...
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48 views

De Re, Counterfactuals, and rigidity

This is going to come off as vague or obscure; but, I hope the idea is performatively expressed: Two questions: Do you think that Kripke would argue that the impossibility of de re counterfactuals ...
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77 views

Is the normative value of linguistic usage a counterexample to the impossibility of deriving “ ought” from “is”?

I really believe that one cannot derive " ought" from "is". But the case of linguistic usage causes me some intellectual trouble. (1) Linguistic usage is a simple fact. (2) Linguistic usage ...
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45 views

Circularity between truth and meaning?

These two common claims are equally appealing: (1) the meaning of a ( declarative) sentence consists in its truth conditions (2) the truth of a sentence depends on its meaning But are we moving ...
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2answers
107 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 ...
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31 views

Has any consensualists written on Wittgenstein?

"This was our paradox: no course of action could be determined by a rule, because any course of action can be made out to accord with the rule" - Wittgenstein This paradox is purported to call ...
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92 views

Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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103 views

How does Epistemology show that it's not a language game?

I'm looking for pointers towards texts that treat the issue of "doing philosophy with language" as a foundational problem-- which must be justified in order to go on and make meaningful statements ...
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42 views

What does “Something” mean ontologically?

Many refer to the question of there is something rather than nothing by assuming that something refers to the universe. Is the word “something” an existential quantification in this context? Is ...
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60 views

Understanding, Meaning and Language [closed]

What is the logic of understanding? How do we understand things? What does it mean to understand? Take for example Turing/Wittgenstein (specifically TLP). It is clear that they had some universal ...
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1answer
160 views

Tautologies in religious language discussion

Influenced by Carnap and Wittgenstein, my view is that the disagreement between religious and non-religious people is mostly a semantic issue: the theistic and atheistic are referring to the same ...
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1answer
210 views

What is the philosophical significance of speech acts/implicature?

I have been reading materials on speech acts (eg. Austin, Searle), and also read Scott Soames' exposition of Gricean implicature theory in his Philosophical analysis in the twentieth century, but I ...
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1answer
323 views

What criticisms of Wittgenstein's philosophy of language have been offered?

In a 2003 obituary, Anna Sherrat described one of my many philosophy heroes, Donald Davidson, as “one of the greatest American philosophers.” She did an excellent job of summarizing one of the ...
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267 views

The more you know, the more you don't know

What is wrong with the following argument? The more you study, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know....
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47 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 ...
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1answer
68 views

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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134 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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812 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
88 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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48 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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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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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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76 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
135 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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48 views

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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5answers
246 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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3answers
124 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
80 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
62 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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1answer
204 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
117 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
63 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
194 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
115 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
107 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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54 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
122 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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66 views

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
210 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
144 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
88 views

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
162 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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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 ...