Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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51 views

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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61 views

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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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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45 views

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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102 views

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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100 views

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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88 views

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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1answer
246 views

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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33 views

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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1answer
104 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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4answers
159 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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168 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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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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120 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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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
73 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
35 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
59 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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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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1answer
37 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
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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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47 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
380 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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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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256 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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107 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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62 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
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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1answer
94 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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2answers
59 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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95 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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84 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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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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1answer
97 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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1answer
229 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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116 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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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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4answers
387 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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1answer
220 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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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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6answers
989 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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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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116 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-...
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74 views

What is the meaning of “object of” in this context?

This is the context: ...object of self-reference: 1) a sentence that negates its own truth. 2) an event that negates its own existence... The topic is about the concept of self-reference in ...
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52 views

What is the distinction Donnellan uses between referential use and attributive use in regards to Strawson and Russell?

Donnellan called attention to what he called the referential use, as opposed to the attributive use, of a definite description. Donnellan’s objection to the Theory of Descriptions is just that ...
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60 views

Logical, semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truth teller and the Liar (draft) can an expert on the matter give feedback?

Title: Logical semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truthteller and the Liar (draft, informal) (major) assumption: A statement is either true or not true (law of excluded middle, classical ...
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Intellectual History of Idea in A Geneaology of Morals Essay One

In Nietzsche's first essay in A Geneaology of Morals, he suggests that use of language in which subjects and verbs are distinguished may influence or at least correspond to conceptual distinctions in ...
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Can a Rigid Designator still exist if there is only one possible world?

According to Kripke, a rigid designator is a pronoun (but not all pronouns are rigid designators) and they pick out the same unique individual in each possible world. I understand this, however, if ...
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87 views

What are the limits of language?

Provably (or by sufficiently rigorous arguments), what are the limits of language (natural & formal)? What can a language not speak about? If there is something non-senseless which language cannot ...