Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
2answers
157 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
116 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? ...
8
votes
3answers
520 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
133 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" ...
0
votes
1answer
79 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?
5
votes
4answers
216 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
235 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
129 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, ...
-1
votes
6answers
206 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
714 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
505 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, ...
1
vote
3answers
232 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?
3
votes
4answers
455 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
167 views

Can an Argument be ever a hypothesis? [closed]

Can I have an argument which can be a hypothesis?
0
votes
0answers
87 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
432 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
240 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
97 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'...
1
vote
3answers
210 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
234 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
209 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
145 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. ...
1
vote
3answers
494 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
91 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
286 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
223 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
7k 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?
3
votes
5answers
470 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
645 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

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)...
11
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
355 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
111 views

Are there any contemporary continental studies based on linking the philosophy of language to science?

I guess verificationism may be a philosophy of language: the idea that to know the meaning of a scientific proposition... is to know what would be evidence for that proposition Are there more ...
1
vote
1answer
385 views

Why was Russell's theory of descriptions taken seriously?

Russell's theory of descriptions revolves around the definite and the indefinite articles of the English language in an attempt to solve some of the basic but serious problems in philosophy of ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Is music just another language?

In this video (starting around 00:28:30) the interviewer, Bryan Magee, and Noam Chomsky discuss musical composition as a form of thinking without language. But it seems trivial to me that music is a ...
6
votes
2answers
412 views

How should we choose between different theories according to Rorty, based on Kuhn?

Popper tried to distinguish a scientific framework from a non-scientific framework ( like Marxism or Psychoanalysis, according to him) by suggesting the criterion of falsification. Kuhn suggested ...
9
votes
2answers
467 views

What is Quine's response to Parmenides's argument against change?

I was recently reading Russell's chapter on Parmenides in The History of Western Philosophy, and I came across a fun little argument for the absence of change. Essentially, it says that word meaning ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

Are these two statements about Ramseyfication true? [closed]

They just seem intuitively likely, though I'm not feeling very au fait with what exactly Ramsey sentences are. The Ramseyfication of everything that is necessarily true in a linguistic system leaves ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Did Quine have another reason to be skeptical of reference besides its context-dependence?

Quine, like many others before him, thought that the meaning of words depends on the context they are in. But what compelled Quine to hold that in light of this there is an ambiguity as to what any ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

How does Wittgenstein think language is acquired?

Wittgenstein is critical of the 'private linguist' and his exclusive use of the ostensive definition, where the definition provided for a given word is an example or a 'pointing out' of what the word ...
6
votes
1answer
168 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Does the existence of the proposition require language to be referential?

If we grant that there is a proposition wherein something meaningful is being asserted, does that require us to think of language as essentially representative in some way? If language didn't contain ...
4
votes
2answers
839 views

How do we know that Wyman and McX aren't the same person?

Quine thought that only that which exists can be referred to, or in other words 'to be is to be the value of a bound variable'. However, what of his equally famous fictional characters Wyman and McX?...
3
votes
1answer
275 views

The Picture Theory of Meaning

I'm not quite clear as to exactly how how Wittgenstein concludes that metaphysical/non-phenomenal talk is meaningless in his Tractatus. Doesn't a statement like, "God exists" and its propositional ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

The Tractatus and the Meaninglessness of Traditional Philosophy

After some research and personal investigation of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, I can't help but be confused by his conclusion that metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, etc. are meaningless given our language'...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Do signifiers in a “system of signs” refer to each other, as well as the signified?

Saussure claimed that language is "a system of signs that express ideas." Handbook of Semiotics, By Winfried Nöth, p57. Do these signs, in language or any of the sign systems just mentioned, refer ...