Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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1answer
142 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
123 views

What is an example of a predictive conditional?

Can someone explain to me with an example what a predictive conditional is? Does this type of conditional have necessary and sufficient conditions?
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4answers
222 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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1answer
42 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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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
258 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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0answers
315 views

Are humans becoming more hive-like? Does this have philosophical implications?

Have any philosophers taken up human hive-like behaviour and its implications? EO Wilson and others have outlined eusociality, a mode of group selection acting in addition to selection at the ...
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1answer
207 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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6answers
940 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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0answers
67 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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2answers
69 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
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
83 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
68 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
32 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
48 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
52 views

Popper on metaphisics [closed]

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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1answer
154 views

What is a predicate according to Aristotle's Organon?

There is of course predicate as in predicate logic; but I'm asking about the notion in Aristotle's Organon. Consider the proposition: Socrates is a man. Man is a universal, Socrates is a ...
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0answers
58 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
42 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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1answer
134 views

Which problem is Russell focusing on while providing a solution, in his introduction to the Tractatus?

In the final part of his introduction to the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus, Russell provides a possible solution to the problem of the impossibility of self-reference of logic: There is one ...
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2answers
440 views

What is an “unarticulated background”?

Does a sentence only mean something because it draws on knowledge outside of itself? Take 2 + 2 = 4: is it a tautology? No: it depends on a conception of '+', which is not located within that sentence/...
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79 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
49 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
78 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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1answer
152 views

Kripke's Solution to Negative Existentials

From what I've collected, Quine seemed to have solved the problem of non-being by using Russell's theory of definite descriptions through the negation of the x having certain properties/descriptions. ...
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0answers
50 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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1answer
268 views

Isomorphism vs homomorphism in the Tractatus' picture theory of language

People often mention that there is an isomorphic nature between language and the world in the Tractatus' conception of language. As far as I can see it, according to Wittgenstein (it's been a few ...
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9answers
4k views

What came first, language or consciousness?

What came first, language or consciousness? Has any philosopher said that language gives us consciousness by allowing us to communicate with ourselves and therefore giving us choices that we did ...
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2answers
233 views

References for the study of language

I'm looking for (not too difficult too read) references related to Semiotics Philosophy of Language Philosophy of Linguistics I mainly seek the understanding of ideas about the relation between ...
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1answer
109 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
32 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
96 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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214 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
84 views

Differences and similarities between Kuhn and Quine about the indeterminacy of translation

About Thomas Kuhn's semantic incommensurability: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are ...
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2answers
100 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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43 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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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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0answers
58 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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1answer
345 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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1answer
214 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
165 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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2answers
277 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
48 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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5answers
151 views

Does the individual meaning of two propositions determine or constrain what kind of logical connectives can be formed between them?

What is the basis for the definition of logical connectives? Are they just arbitrary convention? Or does it depend on the meaning of the constituent propositions? Does the individual meaning of two ...
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2answers
138 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
825 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
91 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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0answers
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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1answer
88 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.