Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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46 views

How to study Inquiry and questions on their own?

I was wondering,that we can think about love,god,faith etc... by asking questions about them. But what about questions themselves? How can we think about them? They don't seem to have any tangible ...
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1answer
80 views

What theoretical underpinnings, if any, connect Philosophy with Linguistics?

I am curious about any similarities or assumptions even in the two fields that may link them. I suppose formal semantic analyses may be one area (broadly speaking) but perhaps there are others...? I ...
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1answer
87 views

What does Russell mean when he's rephrasing “I have two hands”?

In Russell's book "History of Western Philosophy," he talks about the uniqueness of numbers, and how numbers are different from perceptions. And so he discusses the sentence "I have two hands" - where ...
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54 views

Does something permanent really need to accompany private sensations in Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument?

Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses at length the argument against the coherence of a private language throughout his published works. My question is, are there any objections to the argument that work ...
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0answers
90 views

Difference between Carnap and Quine's views

Could someone explain to me, in easy language, what the main differences are between Carnap and Quine's views regarding internal / external questions and realism? Quine called Carnap a Platoist, yet I ...
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5answers
2k views

Is philosophy a science? [duplicate]

When it comes to philosopshy it feels to me a bit like astrology, where there are some things that can work, but mostly because of auto-suggestion, or any other kind of suggestions. So, I wonder if ...
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1answer
108 views

Is there a contemporary survey of exportation?

In "Unrestricted Exportation and Some Morals for the Philosophy of Language", Kripke discusses unrestricted exportation in relation to the de dicto / de re distinction. In this paper he cites a few ...
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3answers
214 views

Someone said argument A, the other heard argument A', is that a fallacy?

Here's a simple dialogue between me and my wife. Wife: why don't you clean the cup after using it? Me: I always clean after me whatever I use. Wife: You're speaking about something else. That wasn'...
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1answer
159 views

When does a watermelon cease to be watermelon?

Let's say you have a watermelon. If you were to cut this watermelon into four slices and take one of the slices, this slice would not be a watermelon. But it could still be called "watermelon" as a ...
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1answer
259 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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1answer
193 views

what's the word/idea that everything has to be tested by science for it to count as fact? [closed]

UPDATE -- go educate yourself --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEPcQ6sIOTY note: being helpful is more important than anything else, please recommend in answers, comments, etc. [ solved ] what's ...
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1answer
105 views

What is meant by the following: This law is well motivated in cases where we may be ignorant of the facts

The folllowing text is taken from a part in a book (reference below) which are about mathematical philosophy. "... the theorem of classical logic known as the law of excluded middle: for every ...
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1answer
148 views

Is language a living system? [closed]

Think about it, the words behave like genes. Strongest words survive. Words mutate, combine, and cross. Words evolve. And we, people (with all our information carrying devices), are their environment.
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1answer
92 views

Normativity and causal explanation of the mind

It is claimed by a lot of philosophers that because we are normative creatures, it is impossible to explain our minds in purely causal terms. Jerry Fodor writes (in LOT2) ... contents of symbols ...
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2answers
150 views

Should I use “philosophy” as a noun to describe my world view? [closed]

I do this often. I use the word "philosophy" to indicate I am talking about the way I think. I use it to indicate my own personal beliefs and conclusions about the world. It is in a sense a disclaimer ...
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1answer
379 views

How to distinguish philosophy and literature? [closed]

How can we impartially distinguish philosophy and literature? In other words, if in the whole of an author's work there is not one single knowledge claim, then is it misnomer that the work be ...
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1answer
109 views

What is understanding (of natural language texts) and how can we test or measure it?

What is the definition of the understanding of (written) natural language and how can we test or measure this understanding? What is understanding of the symbolic knowledge be it encoded in any form? ...
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3answers
456 views

What are the relations between externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine) about meaning?

Three points are not clear to me about the relations between semantic externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine): Is there a way according to which externalism and holism can be held together or ...
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2answers
122 views

Is “destroyer of hope” same as “bringer of hopelessness”?

Assuming that "hopelessness" is absence of hope, if hope was there in the first place then hope can be "taken away" or "destroyed" which could be done a "bringer of hopelessness". Is "taking hope" ...
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1answer
76 views

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? [closed]

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? If so, what would that expression refer to, a present that did not chnage tense?
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4answers
210 views

Wittgenstein's Challenge: Good Practice or Bad Advice?

Wittgenstein, in his Tractacus, lays out a number of interesting propositions. His 7th is famous for the odd advice it seems to suggest. It reads: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be ...
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2answers
232 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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2answers
128 views

What is post truth? And is there any real justification that we have moved into that kind of a world? [closed]

Oxford has defined it as---> ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief'. Now to me, ...
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6answers
203 views

Should words only be represented by finite and linearly structured graphemes?

Knowing that the words in a written language can be represented by combinations of symbols (e.g. letters of an alphabet), I would be interested to learn what kinds of structural restrictions there are ...
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1answer
709 views

Does Google's latest translation tool support Jerry Fodor's Language of Thought Hypothesis?

Google recently updated their translation tool so that it can now translate between language pairs that it hadn't seen before, something they're calling "zero-shot translation." See here for the full ...
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2answers
400 views

Some questions on “context” in Mathematical Logic

Recently I was having a discussion with user21820 in this chatroom. There very naively (in the sense that I didn't choose carefully each word of my following statement) I expressed the opinion that, ...
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4answers
214 views

Can there be an objective purpose?

If we define purpose as the reason for which something exists. Can there be an objective purpose for something?
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4answers
429 views

What book recommendations for learning Hegel and Wittgenstein?

I'm currently interested in Hegel's Dialectic and Wittgenstein works. I'm mostly looking for things related to logic, language and the foundation of mathematics. What do you think I should read from ...
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1answer
149 views

Can an Argument be ever a hypothesis? [closed]

Can I have an argument which can be a hypothesis?
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77 views

Certain questions on Derrida's conception of languange?

Several days ago, I read this comic. And its explanation: A big project of 20th century analytic philosophers, such as Frege, Carnap and Russell, was to either ground language in logic, or to ...
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2answers
246 views

Does a philosophy of language presuppose a philosophy of mind?

Ever since the "linguistic turn", philosophers have been keenly aware of the need of analyzing certain questions about language. In retrospect, John Searle, in Expression and Meaning, notes "the ...
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3answers
410 views

What is the fallacy of defining a square as “a closed-plane figure whose sides are all equal”?

I am determined to prove my professor wrong. Here is a question from a recent exam: Using the six definitional criteria, evaluate the following definition. A square is a closed-plane figure whose ...
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2answers
234 views

Can there be a sufficient account of meaning without an account of intentionality?

Much has been said in recent philosophy in criticism of representationalist theories of meaning. The idea is that any representation can represent what it will only in a prior, limiting context. ...
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2answers
130 views

Would a pragmatist allow that meaning is representational of things in its use?

Pragmatism contends that use should be stressed when talking about the meaning of words before 'representation'. But what if we were to look at signification/representation as a sort of activity? If ...
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92 views

The scope of Analytic discussion about sentences

Kripke and Quine argue both for 2 different ideas (about which I will write shortly) but their objectives are common - to say something about the nature of sentences. Yet, It seems to me like they don'...
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3answers
204 views

Can somebody please give me good tips about how to write a high quality philosophy essay? [duplicate]

I am quite well read, and I understand the philosophy papers I read quite well. But I am a very sloppy writer. Whatever I write comes back with commentaries degrading my papers. What should I do to ...
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2answers
227 views

What arguments support the idea that rational thinking requires language use?

The idea that rationality has language as a necessary condition might be called, per Brandom, lingualism. What are the most popular arguments for this position? Why should we think that the way we ...
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191 views

Difference between information and knowledge?

As far as I think projection of data unto subject mind is information for the subject whereas indentation or impressions accumulated owing to projection of data unto subject mind is knowledge for the ...
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2answers
144 views

Can a sentence denote itself?

Consider a string 'self', and let 'self' denote itself -- that is, 'self' denotes 'self'. Thus, since 'self' denotes self, and denotation is a single-valued predicate, we get that 'self' is self. ...
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3answers
446 views

Do abstract ideas exist or are they only to be found in language?

Is there any reason to imagine that abstract ideas exist when they are nowhere to be found except in language? No more is known today, for example, about Platonic Forms than upon initial utterance ...
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3answers
86 views

“… a thing is an English word only if it has meaning.” – or is it?

From Geoffrey Hunter's Metalogic, p.5: ... a thing is an English word only if it has meaning. At this point I stopped reading the textbook, and thought to myself: "Is this really so?". NB: I don't ...
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283 views

How do pragmatists explain how words attach to things in reality?

If I'm feeling particularly despotic I can tell my daughter to go pick me up an apple in the dining room. A couple of seconds later and I am greeted with the thunk of an apple dropping on my lap. ...
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1answer
187 views

What is the Fregeian meaning of “grasping”?

Frege holds in Der Gedanke that the Thought is the unity of existence because he considers Thought and proposition to be the very same thing, and our cognition of non-propositional objects is ...
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7answers
6k views

Is mathematics a language?

Galileo gave the metaphor that the natural world is written in the language of mathematics, but is mathematics even a language?
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5answers
448 views

Can a question be bullshit?

In his essay On Bullshit Frankfurt writes: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no ...
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1answer
579 views

What are the objections to Wittgenstein's argument that semantics and syntax are the same?

Wittgenstein claimed that syntax and semantics are the same because in some language constructions, syntax can be made to function as semantics. Since it seems like there is still some opposition to ...
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2answers
236 views

What is the difference between expressivism and representationalism in modern philosophy of language?

Philosophers like Robert Brandom and Huw Price make a fairly sharp distinction between expression and representation (or at least expressivism and representationalism). Price goes so far as to ...
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8answers
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Why would this not resolve the Sorites paradox?

Bear with me here, I know nothing about philosophy that I haven't read on Wikipedia. I don't understand why the Sorites paradox is considered an unsolved problem in philosophy (according to Wikipedia)...
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9answers
2k views

what is the truth value of a sarcastic statement?

In light of Donald Trump's many statements (and then retractions of said statements) it is very difficult to decide whether what he is saying is true or false. Many attempts at fact-checking often ...
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3answers
352 views

How do we understand and fix reference for scientific units of measure?

Saul Kripke provides us with a clear way of how we understand and use names in Naming and Necessity. While this solves the problem of how we attribute and understand proper names an interesting ...