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Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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1answer
119 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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3answers
74 views

When we talk about a general concept, we imagine a particular instance

I'm looking to find some resources to read about the following: When we talk about a general concept (the word pencil in "a pencil is made of wood"), we actually have a mental image of a particular ...
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1answer
174 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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1answer
75 views

Is there a truth value for a predictive conditional?

Does a predictive conditional have a truth table value? I have this question because we can't check if the antecedent or consequent is true or false.
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1answer
138 views

Where does Marsilio Ficino write that all nations refer to God with a four-letter name?

I have seen quoted in the name of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), also spelled Marcellus Ficin, that all nations of the world worship a God whose name is spelled with four letters. Does anybody know ...
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0answers
88 views

Do all “meta” questions within philosophy reduce to descriptive and normative?

At first, under "meta" I, of course, mean such things as metaphilosophy, metaethics, and some other "metas" trying to answer the questions "What is X?", "What properties does X have?", etc. And this ...
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1answer
216 views

What's the meaning of the meaning of life? [closed]

Let's say that the meaning of life is X (avoiding evil, fulfilling our desires, obeying God, fleeing the pain of the fear of the death, collecting turtles – anything). What is the meaning of X? Even ...
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3answers
558 views

Understanding hypothetical reasoning and material implication

I am a little bit frustrated in how we use hypothetical reasoning in everyday life. Many times we make "if-then" statements. For example, if i get ill ,then i cant go to work and if i cant go to work ,...
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3answers
84 views

Implication vs sufficient condition vs hypothetical reasoning

I was bit confused to clarify the difference between them because "if-then" are used a lot in everyday life. So for example we have a car which is full function and someone says if i turn the key the ...
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2answers
149 views

Are there philosophers working with the idea of language being ideological?

Are there philosophers working with the idea of language being ideological? If so, who, what specifically are their research interests, and what studies into it are available? By 'ideology' I suppose ...
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2answers
310 views

What is the difference between a conditional and material implication?

Can someone help me understand the difference between a conditional and a material implication? Both of them have the "same" (if-then) structure. For example, "if x=2, then x^2=4". Is this a ...
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7answers
450 views

Is atheism about the existence of Deities or a personal perception of Sacredness?

Wikipedia on atheism: Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Now what about deities? A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. ...
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3answers
98 views

If-then syllogism and multiple conditionals

Can one condtional statement cancel another one ? For example i say if you get 85/100 at maths test i will gift you a car a but if you get 85/100 at maths and 50/100 at history i wont gift you ...
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1answer
269 views

Are A series and B series actually about time or only about language?

Actually, A series is represented by sentences like: She was home yesterday. B series represented by sentences like: She was home on the 24th of August, 2018. A-theory represents time as A ...
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4answers
174 views

Can a ban on certain words be justified rationally?

In our world there is a notion of political correctness. There are some words which can be considered rude or abusive in themselves, regardless of the thought behind them. However, this seems awkward ...
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0answers
111 views

In which sense Quine denies that the translated expressions do have a meaning?

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 translating one language into another, there are ...
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1answer
65 views

Propositional content and reference

My main question is this: Let p be a sentence. Can I have the proposition expressed by p be the same even if the referent of p is different? So as an example I'm thinking of stuff like: p = 'My ...
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1answer
467 views

Is Ludwig Wittgenstein connected to post-structuralism?

Wittgenstein said that "If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it". He also said that a private language is not possible. In my view, structuralism and post-structuralism also talk about these ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Implication in sentences

What implications do we get when we use the past tense? For example, if I say that when I was younger, I used to play football, does this imply that now I don't?
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1answer
49 views

Kuhn: in what sense is the changed part of an old taxonomy redefined in terms of an “unchanged part”?

The problematic nature of translation arises from two assumptions. First, as we have seen, Kuhn assumes that meaning is (locally) holistic. A change in the meaning of one part of the lexical structure ...
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2answers
93 views

What kind of incommensurability does Kuhn claim rules out convergent realism?

A standard conception of the transition from classical to relativistic physics is that although Einstein's theory of relativity supersedes Newton's theory, what we have is an improvement or ...
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4answers
380 views

What is the difference between anger and violence? [closed]

I guess anger is an abstract emotion of opposition without projection. Violence is projection of anger. I'm not sure about my self defined notions. Can you explain difference(s) between the two ...
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0answers
99 views

Is Kuhn referring to Quine's holism while developing his later Semantic Incommensurability Thesis?

Kuhn's view as expressed in the passage quoted above depends upon meaning holism—the claim that the meanings of terms are interrelated in such a way that changing the meaning of one term results in ...
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33 views

Where did Kuhn write his last thoughts about incommensurability?

Kuhn continued to develop his conceptual approach to incommensurability. At the time of his death he had made considerable progress on a book in which he related incommensurability to issues in ...
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1answer
52 views

What did Kuhn exactly say about the inscrutability of reference?

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 translating one language into another, there are ...
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0answers
121 views

Strawson criticism of Austin theory of truth

I'm quoting a snippet of Strawson paper on truth. [Austin] says that, when we declare a statement to be true, the relation between the statement and the world which our declaration "asserts to ...
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1answer
89 views

Meaning vs. Significance [closed]

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 433. [Chapter 1] 9. ...
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4answers
90 views

If-then syllogisms

We have a sentence like this: If you are right above 85/100 then you can enter a university. Does this sentence presuppose that a university exists in order for it to be true?
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96 views

Relations between “natural” and “artificial”

When we say "aritificial", we typically mean "created by intelligent being". When we say "natural", we typically mean "created by nature, not by intelligent being". But then is the human created ...
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1answer
67 views

Where did Kuhn draw a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation?

About Thomas S. Kuhn, In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I read: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268) Which is the ...
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2answers
468 views

How is the concept of “beyond word” viewed in many school of thoughts?

This is my review on the concept of "beyond word": Taoism and Buddhism seems to share that wisdom can't be grasped intellectually. In Zen practice, the koans are presented as nonsensical questions so ...
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1answer
86 views

Clarification of material conditional, logical necessity and causation

Are the following four statements always true - If Proposition B is the Logical consequence of proposition A, then B is material conditionally connected with A. If Proposition E is material ...
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5answers
160 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
116 views

A clarification related to Saul Kripke's argument for posteriori necessity

Main argument for a posteriori necessity uses these premises: (P1) 'Hesperus' is a proper name that refers to the evening star. 'Phosphorus' is also a proper name and it refers to the morning star. ...
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5answers
530 views

Can infinity be defined?

I know that one can look in a dictionary and find definitions for "infinity". Similarly, texts in mathematics will give varying accounts of how "infinity" is treated. So, I am not asking for these ...
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1answer
123 views

What are some good introductory books to contemporary linguistics?

I'm a philosophy student and I was going through philosophy of language but I feel that I do not have yet the basis to be critic about what I am reading. I think about it as going through philosophy ...
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1answer
1k views

Is Wittgenstein right when he criticises recursion theory in the Tractatus 3.333?

In a notorious text from the Tractatus 3.333 Wittgenstein argues that a function that has a value in one argument cannot be re-used in a another. Hence recursive functions are meaningless. This ...
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2answers
191 views

How journalism's rationale to tell facts feasible? How objectivity may be achieved if at all by journalists?

On background of some recent events - that regarding Jerusalem's status (the US step of moving their embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem) and the clash between IDF and Hamas and Palestinians in the ...
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14answers
10k views

Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless?

Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless? Are infinitely recursive definitions valid? If we visualize ...
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5answers
200 views

Can any correct logical reasoning in natural language sentences be translated into a formal mathematical proof?

Since natural languages (e.g. English) are prone to ambiguities and misunderstandings due to their constant evolving nature and lack of rigorous formalization, and given an arbitrary philosopher X who ...
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2answers
69 views

Fourfold categories development in Aristotle.

According to J.L. Ackrill, a key to understand his fourfold classifications of things we must understand two different notions: "Being in something as a subject" "Being said of something as a ...
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2answers
110 views

Is the set of all true contingent propositions equal to the set of all true propositions?

Since the conjunct of a true contingent proposition and a necessary proposition is contingent and hence it is contained in the set of all contingent propositions. Does that mean that the set of all ...
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1answer
395 views

The nature of elementary propositions in the Tractatus

So all complex objects in the world are, at the most fundamental level, made up of simple un-analysable objects which are denoted by 'names'. Combinations of simple objects constitute 'states of ...
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4answers
610 views

What does it mean to know or not know something?

Once one know something, one can't unknow it. We can't just forget what we've known like the way we delete computer's file. Yet it take us a split of second to obtain information and embed it in our ...
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1answer
404 views

Making 'sense' of Wittgenstein's senselessness / nonsense distinction in the Tractatus

For this question I'm just considering Wittgenstein's theory at the time of the Tractatus. As far as I know, for Wittgenstein: Meaning - The object denoted by a word (i.e. referent). Sense - The ...
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0answers
78 views

Is the couplet about mathematics and poetry about logocentricism and deconstructionism?

I find this couplet really interesting: Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing The first one is made ...
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1answer
70 views

Is acceptance followed by an interpretation of a sentence, acceptance of the sentence indeed?

I was wondering whether following after interpreting a sentence can be considered following the sentence or not. For example: there is a religion X which is based on a scripture Y. Now one of the ...
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334 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
81 views

Can a uxoricide be a widower too? [closed]

According to the Webster dictionary a widower is “a man who has lost his wife by death and has not married again”. Is this definition broad enough to encompass the case whereby a man kills his wife, ...
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1answer
70 views

How important are Frege works to an analytic philosopher?

Don't kill me. I know he is a big deal. But I am starting out in analytic philosophy and I am not quite sure how deep I should go in a first approach. Should I read all the context and other ...