Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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1answer
24 views

Difficulty trying to distinguish between an illocutionary act and speech act

Consider the following scenario: an impatient man is sitting in a restaurant, and asked the waiter 'Where is my dinner?'. My understanding is this: Asking for the location of the man's dinner is the ...
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2answers
41 views

Rhetoric: How to frame redundancy in an argument as deficiency?

How can we categorize redundancy in an argument as deficiency? That is, weaken the argument because of its redundancy? Suppose X is an argument that boasts coherence and clarity, but it has various ...
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0answers
42 views

General characteristics of rules

I'm starting a research on rules -- whether moral rules, laws, game rules, etc. Can anyone point me to references which investigate rules as their object? EDIT (in response to @YechiamWeiss ) @...
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1answer
360 views

Is Mercy Reverse Injustice or Reversed Injustice? [on hold]

The problem, so easily, is that: To have Mercy is to abuse against myself,i.e: to loss, or to give up some rights of mine to the real abuser or the real oppressor or whoever does the act of Injustice. ...
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3answers
138 views

Could philosophers via Logic prove the validity of some holy books, then use them as a source of trustful knowledge?

Could philosophy or philosophers or some philosophers prove the validity of the text of a holy book, e.g: Qur'an or the Bible, or some holy books, using logic and philosophical means, then use these ...
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0answers
109 views

Idealism or Idea-ism? [closed]

EDIT 2019-10-11 (OP is a native-Arabic speaker and has questions regarding terminology and semantics. Revision is to ensure compliance with guidelines for good questions - jd). It seems that a ...
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2answers
126 views

Difference between objective and absolute idealism

While reading western philosophy, I found these three words. Subjective idealism of Berkeley, Absolute idealism and objective idealism of Hegel. So confusion arises between last two objective and ...
5
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4answers
99 views

Why are referring and predicating distinct from illocutionary acts?

I have been reading Searle's Speech Acts and he mentioned that in the four sentences mentioned below, while they share the same reference (Sam) and predication (smoking habitually), they are four ...
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2answers
57 views

Clarification on what is and isn't a logical statement

After reading the article from Wikipedia I feel more confused on what the scope of the definition of a 'logical statement' or proposition is. First, is the statement "It is raining" considered to be ...
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4answers
85 views

Who first said that words express emotions, and do not describe objects?

I was reading a critique of Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', and in this criticism it is alleged that Dennett's conception of words as object descriptions is false. The suggestion ...
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1answer
89 views

Language and Sociology [closed]

Could someone systematically, methodologically, organisedly research Sociology, Civilisation, Culture through Language? I.e The state of Language would be the observation and one would give a ...
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2answers
57 views

Semantics of Properties - Are categories of extensions members or subsets?

For example: "Cars have wheels." If we take "have wheels" as a property of a set A, would cars as a category be an element of set A, or only a subset of A?
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2answers
78 views

What truth-functions of elementary propositions can be consired to form a picture?

In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein says that every elementary proposition is a picture. It is clear that we must make a distinction between elementary propositions and other ...
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2answers
81 views

What criteria are sufficient for precision in formal semantics?

For example: A) "I have finished dinner, so I'm not hungry." B) "I have read long books, so I can read this one." One could say the function of "have" in these sentences is to communicate that the ...
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15answers
5k views

Is every sentence we write or utter either true or false? [closed]

Please read the complete description before putting any answer / comment, Thank you. I've been just thinking through this question which I can frame it like this: Can I write or utter any sentence ...
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0answers
71 views

How does contemporary analytic philosophy reply to the late Wittgenstein's injunction against theory?

In the In Our Time episode on Wittgenstein philosopher Ray Monk says the following: It's a central view of the later Wittgenstein that there can be no such thing as a philosophical theory. I think ...
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1answer
208 views

Do those who deny a univocal understanding of “God is good” conflate sense and connotation?

Several theologians following Aquinas have said that when we say things like "God is good" that this must mean something different to when we call other things good; this is called analogical use of ...
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1answer
76 views

How to make sense of minds of others? [closed]

I've asked a question about the criteria for existence, but here I want to focus on a particular aspect. What does it mean If I say: Bob has a mind - Bob's mind exists - Bob is not a philosophical ...
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8answers
3k views

What is to be understood by the phrase “Israel's right to exist”? [closed]

As someone who is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian question one phrase that comes up in the pro-Israeli position is the insistence that the Palestinians recognise '"Israel's right to exist". ...
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4answers
287 views

How much background do I need to read the book: Tractatus logico-philosophicus?

Upon careful consideration of the literature I want to read in the following months, I have stumbled into a particular book which is called: Tractatus logico-philosophicus, written by brilliand author ...
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1answer
212 views

Is it possible that philosophical problems arise because of confusions on our language?

People ask: "Who am I" or "What is a matter" but: Is it possible that those questions arise because of confusions in our language? The questions seem intangible and hugely based on the luxuries that ...
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0answers
68 views

What is a dog? (or car, city, etc)

background: I recall in my undergrad linguistics class being given the prompt "What is a dog?" The key takeaway is that one can remove almost any single trait (e.g. has four legs) and still have ...
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6answers
967 views

Is art a form of communication?

I recently got into a discussion where the other person claimed that art is a form of communication. Bearing in mind that the definition of art is disputed, did any philosophers argue that a work ...
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1answer
62 views

Can you imply something ironic?

Obviously you can imply something in an ironic phrase, but can you imply something ironic? Can the irony be left unsaid, and still be irony? If so, is that verbal irony, or some other sort?
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1answer
99 views

can sentences be true or false

I am confused about the relationship between sentences and propositions. Admittedly what a proposition is has been controversial. I have heard people characterizing it as the meaning and truth-...
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1answer
69 views

What is the meaning of “object of” in this context?

This is the context: ...object of self-reference: 1) a sentence that negates its own truth. 2) an event that negates its own existence... The topic is about the concept of self-reference in ...
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1answer
39 views

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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1answer
55 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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0answers
65 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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0answers
47 views

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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0answers
83 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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0answers
52 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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1answer
81 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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0answers
52 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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4answers
225 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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0answers
33 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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0answers
99 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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1answer
121 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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0answers
45 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 ...
2
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1answer
168 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
215 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
408 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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2answers
292 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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1answer
50 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
74 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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2answers
139 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
832 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
95 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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1answer
97 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
91 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 ...