Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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58 views

Mathematics vs Time

Suppose we have a person that one day states "x+3=5". The next day he again states "x+3=5". As events we can say they are different but does the meaning of the expression has changed? It seems obvious ...
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80 views

A philosophical problem on 'definition' of words

If I ask definition of anything, say point then the most likely reply I will get is " A point is that which has no part." But then I will ask what is 'part'? or what is 'no'? Then the reply will be ...
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45 views

If-then statements meaning in everyday vs mathematics

In mathematics when a "P implies Q" statement is true it means that every time P is true, Q is true also. What about everyday usage? For example consider the statement: "If it is raining, then I am ...
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99 views

How Does One Define a Keyboard?

Suppose we have 3 keyboards and we take out all the switches. Would we call these objects still "keyboards"? Someone could argue that these objects don't have switches so they can't be called "...
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60 views

Usus est norma loquinti, semantic shift, neologisms, slang, communicative clarity

How can we mantain clarity( preferably absolute clarity, categoricity, lack of wobble, confusion, doubts, and questioning) in our communication through natural languages when its use defines its rules?...
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63 views

Axiomatic system and symbolic, formal, mathematical language

Is there any need for axiomatic systems to be in a symbolic, formal, mathematical language? Equivalently is there any prohibition of axioms in axiomatic systems being in natural language? In other ...
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1answer
191 views

Difference between Frege and Russell on Definite Descriptions?

I'm relatively new to philosophy and I'm starting out with the 'staple' philosophers - namely Frege and Russell. I've read Frege's "Sense and Reference" and Russell's "On Denoting." One thing I have ...
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1answer
128 views

Collaborative work between Linguists and Computer Language designers to help fix the English Language

Is there work being done to help remove all the ambiguities and loose meaning of the English language by using low to mid level computer programming languages (avoiding more recent "high level" ...
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67 views

How do we know the intent of a question asked? [migrated]

I have seen this Question asked here: Why are you on the internet while you could be outside enjoying the weather It is closed as being of Topic. Most likely this is due to the notion of the ...
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1answer
222 views

An English room inside Searle's Chinese Room?

The Chinese room experiment has a fundamental function of giving the system/person interacting with it the illusion that the room understands chinese, but it seems flaky to me what the term ...
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1answer
84 views

On reading Kripke

I've recently read that Saul Kripke has had a huge impact in philosophy over the last century, especially philosophy of language and "truth". My question is wether reading his works (or studying it ...
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1answer
43 views

Is this Quine example of 'logically true' statements irrefutably true?

In 'The Two Dogmas of Empiricism' Quine launches quite a compelling attack on the foundations of Reductionist Empiricism, particularly in its claims concerning analyticity. While this calling into ...
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1answer
135 views

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? [closed]

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? To me the meaning of a concept is equivalent to a sufficient and necessary condition with which to ...
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1answer
34 views

Gutenberg technology effects on human psyche

McLuhan is claiming that Gutenberg technology was the reason of human psyche fragmentation, primitivism and social conformism. I am trying to find links between Gutenberg technology and the phenomenon ...
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77 views

What does it mean when Hobbes says “round quadrangle” signifies nothing?

When Hobbes claims that “round quadrangle” (Leviathan, ch.IV) signifies nothing, what does that mean and why does it signify nothing?
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1answer
59 views

What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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35 views

Reference request: relationship between descriptions and things being described

I am not at all educated in philosophy, but was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. I am looking for something that explores the relationship between the description of a thing, ...
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1answer
72 views

What did Wittgenstein mean when he said “knowledge is in the end based on acknowledgement”?

What exactly is acknowledgement here?
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103 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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58 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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1answer
71 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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81 views

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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55 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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1answer
126 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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1answer
101 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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1answer
109 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
265 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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36 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
117 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
179 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
177 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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1answer
155 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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2answers
128 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
45 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
74 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
42 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
73 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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60 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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138 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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1answer
40 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
74 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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50 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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172 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
401 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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120 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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63 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
95 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
95 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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61 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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110 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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