Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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Are these valid examples of axiomatic statements?

I'm trying to understand if a couple of axiomatic statements are correct. Are the following examples valid axiomatic statements? Example 1: "murder is the unjustified killing of a person; if ...
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How to model “forget about” in first order logic?

The other day, my housemate said "Don't forget to not leave the spoon at the bottom of the container". I understood what he meant: "Do not leave the spoon at the bottom of the ...
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How can one formalize that an argument composed of a true and a false statement is “partly true”?

In classical logic if either A or B is false then "A and B" is false. But in natural language it's often the case to hear someone say "that's only partially true" or "that's ...
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Yablo's notion of adding truth

I try to stress a point I've already made in Stephen Yablo's Aboutness and logical subtraction, but from another perspective. From what Yablo is saying in his appendix to Aboutness (http://assets....
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Non catastrophic presupposition failure

In a previous question, I asked something similar but without explicitely referring to the source material of my doubt. Now I try to state it here with more precision: In "Non-catastrophic ...
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38 views

Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?

Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’? Or only when an entire dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?
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Is language objective or subjective?

Can somebody explain why the word “why” for example is objectively the word “why” and spelt as such in the English language when it was formed through subjective experience?
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Can approximation be true?

For example, can approximation ‘approximately 3 people are running,’ ‘I’m almost there,’ or ‘I’ve almost done my homework’ be true or they are just close to truth?
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What do philosophers mean when they say language has a psychological reality?

I came across this in trying to understand 'Ignorance of Language' by Michael Devitt, and the back and forth he has had around this topic with other philosophers. Any books (papers?) I can look at to ...
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Textbook on the theory of definitions

I was wondering if some of you have a recommendation for a textbook with some good philosophy on (or some theory of) definitions, or at least some ruminations on what constitutes a good definition of ...
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Are there possibilities that only a part of a statement is not true? [closed]

Are there possibilities that only a part of a statement is not true? For example, "I consider a man as tall," but he is not tall in reality then the statement ‘I consider a man as tall’ is ...
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Do the words “in relation to” imply relativism?

Do the words "in relation to" imply any relativism? For example: "The earth is small in relation to the Sun", or "I am good in relation to mathematics", or "He is ...
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that something is semantically correct means it’s correct in a matter of fact? [closed]

that language is semantically correct means it’s correct in a matter of fact? That is, it has accordance with fact?
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From what did we instantiated the concept of “Nothingness”

So as i understand according to Aristotle's theory of abstraction every abstract concept (i.e universal) is instantiated (or abstracted) from it particulars in the outside world if that so how can we ...
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281 views

What is a counter argument for the proposition that reaching the truth involves abandoning language and other intellectual instruments?

I have a linguist friend of mine who proposes that one should abandon all labels and paradigms to reach the ultimate truth, as they are deceptive. He proposes that you should strip all intellectual ...
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Gettier Cases seem absurd and unconvincing

Suppose that Smith and Jones have applied for a certain job. And suppose that Smith has strong evidence for the following conjunctive proposition: (d) Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones ...
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What does Chesterton mean by “four letters beginning with a 'R'” in “The Revival of Philosophy – Why”?

In Chesterton's essay "The Revival of Philosophy – Why?", he wrote: [...] not merely by the sound of a syllable or the look of four letters beginning with a “R”. I wonder what these four ...
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Can it be said, in the Kantian sense of the word “noumena”, that noumena exist?

I know Kant says it. But he also claims that nothing else can be said about noumena, only that they exist. I seem to be strongly convinced that this statement involves a contradiction and therefore ...
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Is there a taxonomy of disagreement types?

In philosophy, is there any type of taxonomy of types of disagreements? For example, I want students to look at varying takes on a subject. What I want them to focus on is, Why do such smart people ...
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64 views

What is meant by “Sense of the World” (TLP)?

Wittgenstein defines World as: TLP: World is the totality of facts, not of things. Clearly, Wittgenstein is referring to the mental "representation" of the World, not the physical World ...
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132 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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150 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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118 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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192 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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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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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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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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151 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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51 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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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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80 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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130 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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262 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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114 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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29 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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467 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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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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