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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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LPL Predicate Logic TranslationsExercise 11.20

I have this one question (Part 7) in exercise 11.20 that I can't seem to get the answer from. I tried ∀x∀y ((x ≠ y ∧ Larger(x,y)) → Dodec(x)) and ∀x∀y (Larger(x,y) → Dodec(x)), as well as many other ...
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1answer
27 views

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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30 views

Is the act of intenstional definition metalinguistic?

Regarding the use-mention distinction in philosophy, is the act of providing an intensional definition, which creates an identity between a meaningless token and a set of meaningful tokens a ...
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4answers
119 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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2answers
90 views

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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2answers
151 views

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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6answers
289 views

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
145 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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8answers
3k views

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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2answers
112 views

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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1answer
33 views

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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1answer
68 views

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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2answers
28 views

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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1answer
37 views

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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42 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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3answers
134 views

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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3answers
502 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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1answer
34 views

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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2answers
63 views

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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0answers
44 views

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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1answer
371 views

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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2answers
184 views

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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1answer
93 views

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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3answers
160 views

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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2answers
172 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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1answer
145 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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15answers
6k views

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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4answers
102 views

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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4answers
92 views

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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5answers
855 views

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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2answers
61 views

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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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 ...
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2answers
57 views

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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2answers
86 views

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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2answers
81 views

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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1answer
216 views

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 ...
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2answers
268 views

Is there a natural example of a non-self-referential semantic paradox in philosophy?

A commonly studied paradox is the liar's paradox. The liar's paradox is to determine whether "this statement is false". The usual resolution is to state this the sentence is not actually a statement ...
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1answer
119 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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0answers
74 views

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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3answers
535 views

Is there a philosophical term or theory that defines or describes the idea of 'epiphany'?

I am new to the philosophy stack exchange, so please let me know if I need to clarify this question further. I am curious if there is a distinction made in philosophical fields between a typical step-...
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1answer
174 views

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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4answers
237 views

Language and Philosophy

It is clear that many words are defined by how they are used. That context defines the word. The setting of the environment together constitutes the context, and a word is a meaningless string which ...
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1answer
91 views

How to make sense of minds of others? [closed]

I've asked a question about the criteria for existence, but here I want to focus on a particular aspect. What does it mean If I say: Bob has a mind - Bob's mind exists - Bob is not a philosophical ...
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4answers
320 views

How much background do I need to read the book: Tractatus logico-philosophicus?

Upon careful consideration of the literature I want to read in the following months, I have stumbled into a particular book which is called: Tractatus logico-philosophicus, written by brilliand author ...
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334 views

Are humans becoming more hive-like? Does this have philosophical implications?

Have any philosophers taken up human hive-like behaviour and its implications? EO Wilson and others have outlined eusociality, a mode of group selection acting in addition to selection at the ...
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1answer
216 views

Is it possible that philosophical problems arise because of confusions on our language?

People ask: "Who am I" or "What is a matter" but: Is it possible that those questions arise because of confusions in our language? The questions seem intangible and hugely based on the luxuries that ...
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6answers
969 views

Is art a form of communication?

I recently got into a discussion where the other person claimed that art is a form of communication. Bearing in mind that the definition of art is disputed, did any philosophers argue that a work ...
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71 views

What is a dog? (or car, city, etc)

background: I recall in my undergrad linguistics class being given the prompt "What is a dog?" The key takeaway is that one can remove almost any single trait (e.g. has four legs) and still have ...
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1answer
62 views

Can you imply something ironic?

Obviously you can imply something in an ironic phrase, but can you imply something ironic? Can the irony be left unsaid, and still be irony? If so, is that verbal irony, or some other sort?
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1answer
105 views

can sentences be true or false

I am confused about the relationship between sentences and propositions. Admittedly what a proposition is has been controversial. I have heard people characterizing it as the meaning and truth-...