Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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4
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2answers
347 views

Given Wittgenstein's characterisation of language as essentially public, can he characterise what form thinking takes?

According to Wittgenstein, language is an essentially public activity between minds; and language is structured by a grammar so that this communication can indeed occur. I think, the notion of ...
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4answers
222 views

Wittgenstein maintains language is public, can this be correct?

I come into the world where other beings are using language. I learn this. Those beings have come into the world where other beings are using language. They learn it. Those other beings come into ...
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2answers
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Does language itself support the extended mind hypothesis?

language, even when taking into Chomskys hypothesis of the biological ground of 'Deep Grammar', is primarily public: The English language is not built into our minds, it is 'out there'. I come into ...
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4answers
840 views

Is there any connection between Structuralism and Category Theory?

Having only the a very cursory knowledge of Structuralism, there does appear to be some points of coincidence: Structuralism: Individual elements of culture must be placed within a System/Structure. ...
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4answers
2k views

Is there any Philosophical significance to why Plato chose to present his work in the form of a dialogue?

Spinoza presented his work in a proposition/theorem format following Euclid, presumably to varnish his work in the seemingly eternal verities of mathematics. Is there any significance as to why Plato ...
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1answer
80 views

Can one systematically reduce sentence into information packages/towers?

On todays wikipedia front page, in the did you know... section, it says Did you know... ... that Niels Kaas was the chancellor of Denmark during the late 1500s? Now I find this to be somewhat ...
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4answers
2k views

What are some good books about Wittgenstein's philosophy of language?

I'm a computer science PhD student which does some work in Knowledge Representation, and I have studied a lot of (mathematical) logic. As far as I remember from my high school philosophy classes, ...
0
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1answer
518 views

Post-structuralist view of physics? [closed]

What is the post-structuralist approach to natural sciences, especially physics? Maybe post stucturalism is a bit too scattered to ask for a specific clear position, but what are the common ideas of ...
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2answers
692 views

Is implying the same as asserting?

I need to understand if implying something, knowingly or unknowingly, is the same as asserting it. I also need to understand if it is merely semantics or there is a philosophical rigor to it. EDIT: ...
11
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2answers
536 views

Are normative definitions possible in ordinary language philosophy?

If I recall correctly, analyzing a concept in ordinary-language philosophy involved taking inventory on how the term for the concept is used by the speakers of the language across contexts, thus ...
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3answers
364 views

Can we adequately explain complex phenomenon through a single number?

Think of the most complex number you can. Say a surd like pi. What does it explain, exactly? How complex is the ratio of the circumfrence to the diameter of a circle? I think numbers can describe ...
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1answer
103 views

Canonical Papers on Context

The notions of context and contextual disambiguation are either implicitly or explicitly deployed in order to solve problems of ambiguous reference and meaning in the majority of the theories of ...
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3answers
258 views

Philosophical works addressing the problem of dilution of meaning

As a software developer, I often face the problem of meaningless terms. It is very common in our industry that a certain term is first coined with a very specific and useful meaning. Then, it becomes ...
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3answers
844 views

Why would Wittgenstein say we can't have a perfect language?

I have been reading Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and my question is how does he come to realize that we can't have a perfect language. For instance I would say math is a perfect ...
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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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3answers
255 views

Are there token events?

The type/token distinction appears to be generally explained in terms of objects. A given Honda Accord is, e.g., a token of of the type "Honda Accord". However, the literature I have read seems to do ...
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4answers
3k views

What makes a good question?

Most philosophy begins with a question. I'm wondering why certain questions provoke more profound thoughts than others. What characteristics do good questions share with each other? How can we go ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did Jacques Derrida call his theory “deconstruction”?

Deconstruction literally should mean "destroying something" or "tearing something apart" or something like that—something that is opposite to "construction". Why he has chosen this term for his ...
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8answers
1k views

Does claiming something exists imply that the number 1 exists?

The number 1 is used in language when we make claims of existence concerning distinct well-defined objects. It seems then that to say the number 1 does not exist would imply that nothing exists at all....
3
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1answer
99 views

Is the classification of information a result of properties inherent to that information or inherent to human reasoning?

In a paper I wrote for a class last quarter, I began with the concept of "music as a lens for culture" and ultimately ended up drawing parallels between culture, language, and music -- more ...
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1answer
159 views

Is the justificationist theory of meaning compatible with scientific realism?

Can a realist picture adapt itself to the justificationist world view? The question might sound self contradictory. But here is where my question coming from. If you consider quantum theory as a ...
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6answers
408 views

Is a language its dictionary?

A dictionary defines words in a language, in terms of other words in that same language. An English dictionary is not the same as a Spanish dictionary, simply because the sets of English words and ...
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4answers
283 views

Are the limitations of language proof against the divinity of holy books? [closed]

Many religions like Islam and Hinduism have holy books(the Quran and the Vedas, respectively) which claim some kind of superhuman origin. However, are the limitations of languages then counter to ...
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3answers
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What are some ways to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus other than resolute/irresolute?

There are, at present, two dominant ways to read Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (TLP). One is called the irresolute reading, the other the resolute reading. The irresolute reading ...
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2answers
355 views

What are the implications of ordinary language philosophy on the study of langauge?

I can't see how the etymology of a word has any significance other than an historical significance. So how can we characterize this connection between the original formation of a word and its current, ...