Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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1answer
119 views

Statements about real world

We make statements like "This table is composed from atoms". This statement must be true or false. But what if tomorrow the atomic theory is completely abandoned and we work with another ...
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What actually is a simulation philosophically?

Everyone has heard of the idea that the universe might be a simulation - which we understand to mean that there is some computer in the "base" universe, which is running a program that is ...
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12answers
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Why is the Münchhausen trilemma an unsolved problem?

Why is the Münchhausen trilemma unsolved? Couldn't anybody find some reasons for proving/disproving it? Or are there other reasons for it being called "unsolved"? the trilemma If we ask of ...
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1answer
60 views

Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?

Although only half of a dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’? Or only when an entire dish is red, can I call it ‘red dish’?
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2answers
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On Searle's _Proper Names_ (1958)

I just read Searle's article Proper Names (1958) which was published before Kripke's seminal take on the subject in Naming and Necessity (1980). I think it is a very lucid article but I have a ...
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3answers
594 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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2answers
241 views

Is this a solution to the disjunction problem of causal representation?

As I understand it, the disjunction problem is how could a causal theory of inner representation account for mistaken identification of external objects or object types. For example, if I see a fox ...
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3answers
142 views

How to model “forget about” in first order logic?

The other day, my housemate said "Don't forget to not leave the spoon at the bottom of the container". I understood what he meant: "Do not leave the spoon at the bottom of the ...
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2answers
79 views

Is there a clear cut distinction between Philosophy and Philology?

I’ve been recently mulling over semantic and linguistic issues and I realized that my understanding of these fields may not correspond to the commonly accepted wisdom, so to speak. Although the ...
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1answer
56 views

Are these valid examples of axiomatic statements?

I'm trying to understand if a couple of statements would be considered axiomatic: Example 1: "murder is the unjustified killing of a person; if there was a murder, then a person was killed ...
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4answers
755 views

Is Chomskys universal grammar synthetic a priori?

Chomskys notion of a universal grammar is his way of comprehending that human languages appear to have a deep grammar, and that children appear to learn language as though they are primed for it. It ...
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4answers
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Deductive reasoning & conditionals

What would be a good example of explicit deductive reasoning that doesn't seem to be possibly interpreted correctly as a conditional (If A, then B)?
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1answer
196 views

Yablo's notion of adding truth

I try to stress a point I've already made in Stephen Yablo's Aboutness and logical subtraction, but from another perspective. From what Yablo is saying in his appendix to Aboutness (http://assets....
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2answers
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How can one formalize that an argument composed of a true and a false statement is “partly true”?

In classical logic if either A or B is false then "A and B" is false. But in natural language it's often the case to hear someone say "that's only partially true" or "that's ...
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283 views

Why are imperatives not propositions according to Frege?

I'm reading Frege's "On Sense and Nominatum" and I am confused with: "Imperatives have no nominata; they have only sense. It is true, commands or requests are not propositions, but they are of the ...
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2answers
78 views

Non catastrophic presupposition failure

In a previous question, I asked something similar but without explicitely referring to the source material of my doubt. Now I try to state it here with more precision: In "Non-catastrophic ...
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2answers
228 views

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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6answers
415 views

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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3answers
86 views

From what did we instantiated the concept of “Nothingness”

So as i understand according to Aristotle's theory of abstraction every abstract concept (i.e universal) is instantiated (or abstracted) from it particulars in the outside world if that so how can we ...
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38 views

Is language objective or subjective?

Can somebody explain why the word “why” for example is objectively the word “why” and spelt as such in the English language when it was formed through subjective experience?
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1answer
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Can approximation be true?

For example, can approximation ‘approximately 3 people are running,’ ‘I’m almost there,’ or ‘I’ve almost done my homework’ be true or they are just close to truth?
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4answers
146 views

According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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1answer
94 views

What do philosophers mean when they say language has a psychological reality?

I came across this in trying to understand 'Ignorance of Language' by Michael Devitt, and the back and forth he has had around this topic with other philosophers. Any books (papers?) I can look at to ...
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103 views

Textbook on the theory of definitions

I was wondering if some of you have a recommendation for a textbook with some good philosophy on (or some theory of) definitions, or at least some ruminations on what constitutes a good definition of ...
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2answers
69 views

Are there possibilities that only a part of a statement is not true? [closed]

Are there possibilities that only a part of a statement is not true? For example, "I consider a man as tall," but he is not tall in reality then the statement ‘I consider a man as tall’ is ...
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2answers
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Do the words “in relation to” imply relativism?

Do the words "in relation to" imply any relativism? For example: "The earth is small in relation to the Sun", or "I am good in relation to mathematics", or "He is ...
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4answers
533 views

Are opinions considered statements?

‘Aristotle was great’. Is this a statement? I consider a statement to be something either true or false (but not both). For an individual, this may be considered a statement (because either you ...
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1answer
178 views

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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that something is semantically correct means it’s correct in a matter of fact? [closed]

that language is semantically correct means it’s correct in a matter of fact? That is, it has accordance with fact?
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1answer
282 views

What is a counter argument for the proposition that reaching the truth involves abandoning language and other intellectual instruments?

I have a linguist friend of mine who proposes that one should abandon all labels and paradigms to reach the ultimate truth, as they are deceptive. He proposes that you should strip all intellectual ...
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3answers
156 views

Gettier Cases seem absurd and unconvincing

Suppose that Smith and Jones have applied for a certain job. And suppose that Smith has strong evidence for the following conjunctive proposition: (d) Jones is the man who will get the job, and Jones ...
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1answer
216 views

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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1answer
45 views

What does Chesterton mean by “four letters beginning with a 'R'” in “The Revival of Philosophy – Why”?

In Chesterton's essay "The Revival of Philosophy – Why?", he wrote: [...] not merely by the sound of a syllable or the look of four letters beginning with a “R”. I wonder what these four ...
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1answer
71 views

Can it be said, in the Kantian sense of the word “noumena”, that noumena exist?

I know Kant says it. But he also claims that nothing else can be said about noumena, only that they exist. I seem to be strongly convinced that this statement involves a contradiction and therefore ...
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0answers
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Is there a taxonomy of disagreement types?

In philosophy, is there any type of taxonomy of types of disagreements? For example, I want students to look at varying takes on a subject. What I want them to focus on is, Why do such smart people ...
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1answer
65 views

What is meant by “Sense of the World” (TLP)?

Wittgenstein defines World as: TLP: World is the totality of facts, not of things. Clearly, Wittgenstein is referring to the mental "representation" of the World, not the physical World ...
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2answers
134 views

What is the name of the view that nothing is true?

Is there a name of the view that no statement is true? Such a person who holds that view believes that statement are meaningless sequences of marks on paper or a computer monitor and can't be true, ...
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3answers
118 views

Infinite Regress in Language and Logic?

I had this idea, and it seems novel to me, but I'm wondering if there is a philosopher that addresses this issue already because I think it's kind of interesting. When making a logical statement, you ...
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1answer
302 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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1answer
205 views

What is Ruloff's theory on the origin of language? [closed]

The largest recorded brain in the U.S is said to belong to one Edward H. Rulloff. This guy wrote a book on his theory of the origin of languages shortly before his execution. What was his theory? Is ...
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3answers
188 views

If-then syllogism and multiple conditionals

Can one condtional statement cancel another one? For example, I say, "If you get 85/100 at your maths test, I will gift you a car a, but if you get 85/100 at maths and 50/100 at history, I wont ...
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4answers
301 views

What is the philosophical term for using half-truths to intentionally mislead?

Our local school district has been distributing propaganda to support keeping schools open during an uncontrolled pandemic. There has been a common pattern among these statements, where a half-truth ...
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2answers
56 views

If what you have to say is not going to help me with anything and if it's not true, don't say it!

I learned some years ago and now I'm finding it hard to remember it back. It was something like: If what you have to say is not going to help me with anything and if it's not true, don't say it! And I ...
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1answer
70 views

Should we define truth (given it exists)?

Should we, human-beings, try to define truth (given truth exists in reality)? Personally, I don't think we should reduce truth to symbols and syllables because I think it will take us into weird ...
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Can we make statements for persons/objects that cease to exist?

I am asking this question because I thought what truth value would have a have a quantifier over a set that contains persons that are dead. For example suppose I state: "For every x that is ...
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1answer
155 views

Does falsifiability imply meaningfulness and what are some of the drawback of falsifiability? [duplicate]

This is a combination of basically two different questions, but they are interrelated. My first question is pretty simple. Can we equate falsifiability and meaningfulness? I think at least in the ...
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Are there any works that build upon or apply Wittgenstein's concept of language games?

I have almost finished Philosophical Investigations and was fascinated by it. Aside from Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition, which is by his own admission pretty bad, are there works that expand upon ...
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What are the “Simples” Wittgenstein discusses in Philosophical Investigations?

I first came across this term in §39 of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, wherein he writes [O]ne is tempted to make an objection against what is ordinarily called a name. It can be put ...
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288 views

What is the essential something that Heidegger suggests that philosophers can learn from poetry?

In this transcript of a conversation between Simon Critchley & Badiou on Badiou's book Being and Event, Badiou states: And after that, I have also to understand why there is in modern times a ...
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1answer
80 views

Why is it that philosophers use terms that aren't literally true in their literature?

In lectures and talks that I have attended/watched, I've noticed a propensity to use the term "move" when describing the primary driving force behind an argument. In context, it might sound ...

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