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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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Are there some kinds of arguments in defense of Private Language?

Could the beetle in the box not play any role in our…?Or will the similar neurological constituents and the same physical input provide some supports to the "pain",in a (Kantian) way that each person ...
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Are there any points of convergence between analytical and traditional concept based philosophy?

In many questions, answers and in comments, there appear to be differences in the type of answers and comments which fall into two roughly delineated trains of thought and exemplify the fault line ...
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What to read on how the philosophical understanding of the nature of philosophical topics, and being on- and off-topic, has evolved?

My focus is to study the topic of topic itself and topicality, that is how a message, a question either a discussion can be on- or off-topic. Which philosophers have been discussing this and what are ...
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How does contemporary analytic philosophy reply to the late Wittgenstein's injunction against theory?

In the In Our Time episode on Wittgenstein philosopher Ray Monk says the following: It's a central view of the later Wittgenstein that there can be no such thing as a philosophical theory. I think ...
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319 views

What do we mean by the symbolic representation of nothing?

The word 'nothing' symbolically represents nothing-in-itself. But how can we refer to something that by definition is not there? To make this clearer: the word 'horse' refers to an actual living ...
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1answer
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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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Do we imagine the World?

If yes, please elucidate what must be the case such that we can make the statement : "We imagine the World". If no (or if the question is meaningless/absurd) please demonstrate using logical ...
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Book on philosophy of language for beginners

Reading books about philosophy of language I came cross a lot of terminology like "metaphysics", "epistemology", "aesthetics", "logical positivist" etc. As I'm a total beginner in this area, I'm ...
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what's the exact meaning of “reference” in Luhmann's Texts?

in Niklas Luhmann's Texts, the form of Communication is the understanding(Verstehen) the difference between the information and the utterance(Mitteilung). He said, then we can know that the ...
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Bibliography for a beginner in philosophy of language

In my main time, I am a mathematician working in logic and category theory. As a logician, I am familiar with some bits of philosophy of language. Stuff I have read: Word and object, Quine. Naming ...
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Liars paradox towards a solution?

This statement is not true 2.This statement is true only if true and not true. (1) and (2) are clearly different sentences, but do they express the same proposition? If yes, then it becomes clear ...
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Is “lacking belief in X” equivalent to “belief in the nonexistence of X”?

Often I see atheists say they do not have an active belief in the nonexistence of God, only a lack of belief in God. I see where they are coming from, but I have a suspicion that they're equivalent. ...
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Truth values of sentences

Frege proposed that the meaning of a sentence is its truth value in "Über Sinn und Bedeutung" (close to "On Sense and Meaning"). This is not correct because some (many) English sentences do not have ...
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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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How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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Wittgenstein and theology

Wittgenstein noted that we engage in language games and quite often we borrow words from different games and misuse them such as using words with scientific connotations in religious discourse or ...
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Is there consensus on the framework of truth one should use when talking about moral statements?

My understanding is that for a moral realist, moral statements are propositions that have a true/false property that can guide reasoning. However, most articles I have read do not talk about what ...
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How does imprecise and ambiguous natural language relate to the equivocation fallacy and how can we know what words mean?

I am feeling really confused on how we colloquially use and redefine words and sometime use the equivocation fallacy. I have fallen into equivocation language traps before, and as I become more aware ...
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On the Donald Davidson Discourse of Contradictory Beliefs

The following excerpt is taken from Donald Davidson, Problems of Rationality, Chapter 14, Who is Fooled (1997), page 217: We should not agree that believing the contradictory or the contrary of a ...
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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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Are there any attempts to define “doubt”?

Traditionally, Knowledge is defined as a True Justified Belief (Let us ignore epistemic caveats and objections to this definition). According to Wittgenstein, there is no place for knowledge where ...
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1answer
151 views

Is there a form of set theory involving imperatives and interrogatives?

I finally read the article Is there a Logic of Imperatives? Conifold showed me and it elicited the question, for me, whether imperative programming is a form of imperative logic at all? The essay took ...
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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". (In ...
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Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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Freud's tripartite linguistic play

Maria Walsh in her book Art and Psychoanalysis says: Uncanny sensations are triggered in the present by the creepy evocation of a past that the subject has repressed, a past that should have ...
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Are there any systems of mathematics that permit such a wide range of ways to formulate ideas

... that there is no algorithm for determining whether or not a given sequence of symbols is a wff ("well-formed formula"), but instead non-trivial proofs are required, so that some sequence of ...
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predicative and attributive adjectives?

I'm reading Peter Geach's Good and Evil, and am struggling to understand what predicative and attributive adjectives mean, the significance of the words and how they be applied to good and bad.
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Difficulty finding real life examples of the bad reasons fallacy, is this fallacy committed often?

I understand that the bad reasons fallacy is committed when one assumes that a conclusion is false just because the argument is bad. But is this fallacy committed very often?
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Is the true definition of a word “everything an object is not” until we learn otherwise?

..I am hoping that someone can help correct me if I am wrong or mislead. Using a tree as an example to explain my question: it is difficult to narrow down an exact definition of a tree because every ...
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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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1answer
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Difficulty trying to distinguish between an illocutionary act and speech act

Consider the following scenario: an impatient man is sitting in a restaurant, and asked the waiter 'Where is my dinner?'. My understanding is this: Asking for the location of the man's dinner is the ...
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Rhetoric: How to frame redundancy in an argument as deficiency?

How can we categorize redundancy in an argument as deficiency? That is, weaken the argument because of its redundancy? Suppose X is an argument that boasts coherence and clarity, but it has various ...
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General characteristics of rules [closed]

I'm starting a research on rules -- whether moral rules, laws, game rules, etc. Can anyone point me to references which investigate rules as their object? EDIT (in response to @YechiamWeiss ) @...
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Is Mercy Reverse Injustice or Reversed Injustice? [closed]

The problem, so easily, is that: To have Mercy is to abuse against myself,i.e: to loss, or to give up some rights of mine to the real abuser or the real oppressor or whoever does the act of Injustice. ...
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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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Language and Sociology [closed]

Could someone systematically, methodologically, organisedly research Sociology, Civilisation, Culture through Language? I.e The state of Language would be the observation and one would give a ...
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Could philosophers via Logic prove the validity of some holy books, then use them as a source of trustful knowledge?

Could philosophy or philosophers or some philosophers prove the validity of the text of a holy book, e.g: Qur'an or the Bible, or some holy books, using logic and philosophical means, then use these ...
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264 views

Difference between objective and absolute idealism

While reading western philosophy, I found these three words. Subjective idealism of Berkeley, Absolute idealism and objective idealism of Hegel. So confusion arises between last two objective and ...
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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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15answers
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Is every sentence we write or utter either true or false? [closed]

Please read the complete description before putting any answer / comment, Thank you. I've been just thinking through this question which I can frame it like this: Can I write or utter any sentence ...
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Why are referring and predicating distinct from illocutionary acts?

I have been reading Searle's Speech Acts and he mentioned that in the four sentences mentioned below, while they share the same reference (Sam) and predication (smoking habitually), they are four ...
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Who first said that words express emotions, and do not describe objects?

I was reading a critique of Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', and in this criticism it is alleged that Dennett's conception of words as object descriptions is false. The suggestion ...
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What branch(es) of philosophy use symbolic logic as a fundamental tool?

I have been reading this book about philosophy of language by A. Miller": the discussion of Frege and Russell are excellent, using logic symbol to introduce ideas. However, the remaining chapters do ...
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Clarification on what is and isn't a logical statement

After reading the article from Wikipedia I feel more confused on what the scope of the definition of a 'logical statement' or proposition is. First, is the statement "It is raining" considered to be ...
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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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Semantics of Properties - Are categories of extensions members or subsets?

For example: "Cars have wheels." If we take "have wheels" as a property of a set A, would cars as a category be an element of set A, or only a subset of A?
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What truth-functions of elementary propositions can be consired to form a picture?

In Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein says that every elementary proposition is a picture. It is clear that we must make a distinction between elementary propositions and other ...
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What criteria are sufficient for precision in formal semantics?

For example: A) "I have finished dinner, so I'm not hungry." B) "I have read long books, so I can read this one." One could say the function of "have" in these sentences is to communicate that the ...
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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 ...