Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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50 views

What did Kuhn exactly say about the inscrutability of reference?

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 translating one language into another, there are ...
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112 views

Strawson criticism of Austin theory of truth

I'm quoting a snippet of Strawson paper on truth. [Austin] says that, when we declare a statement to be true, the relation between the statement and the world which our declaration "asserts to ...
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1answer
83 views

Meaning vs. Significance [closed]

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 433. [Chapter 1] 9. ...
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4answers
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If-then syllogisms

We have a sentence like this: If you are right above 85/100 then you can enter a university. Does this sentence presuppose that a university exists in order for it to be true?
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Relations between “natural” and “artificial”

When we say "aritificial", we typically mean "created by intelligent being". When we say "natural", we typically mean "created by nature, not by intelligent being". But then is the human created ...
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1answer
66 views

Where did Kuhn draw a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation?

About Thomas S. Kuhn, In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy I read: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268) Which is the ...
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2answers
464 views

How is the concept of “beyond word” viewed in many school of thoughts?

This is my review on the concept of "beyond word": Taoism and Buddhism seems to share that wisdom can't be grasped intellectually. In Zen practice, the koans are presented as nonsensical questions so ...
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1answer
83 views

Clarification of material conditional, logical necessity and causation

Are the following four statements always true - If Proposition B is the Logical consequence of proposition A, then B is material conditionally connected with A. If Proposition E is material ...
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5answers
151 views

Does the individual meaning of two propositions determine or constrain what kind of logical connectives can be formed between them?

What is the basis for the definition of logical connectives? Are they just arbitrary convention? Or does it depend on the meaning of the constituent propositions? Does the individual meaning of two ...
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2answers
114 views

A clarification related to Saul Kripke's argument for posteriori necessity

Main argument for a posteriori necessity uses these premises: (P1) 'Hesperus' is a proper name that refers to the evening star. 'Phosphorus' is also a proper name and it refers to the morning star. ...
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5answers
484 views

Can infinity be defined?

I know that one can look in a dictionary and find definitions for "infinity". Similarly, texts in mathematics will give varying accounts of how "infinity" is treated. So, I am not asking for these ...
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1answer
106 views

What are some good introductory books to contemporary linguistics?

I'm a philosophy student and I was going through philosophy of language but I feel that I do not have yet the basis to be critic about what I am reading. I think about it as going through philosophy ...
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Is Wittgenstein right when he criticises recursion theory in the Tractatus 3.333?

In a notorious text from the Tractatus 3.333 Wittgenstein argues that a function that has a value in one argument cannot be re-used in a another. Hence recursive functions are meaningless. This ...
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188 views

How journalism's rationale to tell facts feasible? How objectivity may be achieved if at all by journalists?

On background of some recent events - that regarding Jerusalem's status (the US step of moving their embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem) and the clash between IDF and Hamas and Palestinians in the ...
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14answers
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Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless?

Since words are defined in terms of other words in dictionaries, leading to infinite loops, does it mean natural languages are meaningless? Are infinitely recursive definitions valid? If we visualize ...
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5answers
195 views

Can any correct logical reasoning in natural language sentences be translated into a formal mathematical proof?

Since natural languages (e.g. English) are prone to ambiguities and misunderstandings due to their constant evolving nature and lack of rigorous formalization, and given an arbitrary philosopher X who ...
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2answers
56 views

Fourfold categories development in Aristotle.

According to J.L. Ackrill, a key to understand his fourfold classifications of things we must understand two different notions: "Being in something as a subject" "Being said of something as a ...
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2answers
103 views

Is the set of all true contingent propositions equal to the set of all true propositions?

Since the conjunct of a true contingent proposition and a necessary proposition is contingent and hence it is contained in the set of all contingent propositions. Does that mean that the set of all ...
4
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1answer
316 views

The nature of elementary propositions in the Tractatus

So all complex objects in the world are, at the most fundamental level, made up of simple un-analysable objects which are denoted by 'names'. Combinations of simple objects constitute 'states of ...
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4answers
517 views

What does it mean to know or not know something?

Once one know something, one can't unknow it. We can't just forget what we've known like the way we delete computer's file. Yet it take us a split of second to obtain information and embed it in our ...
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1answer
327 views

Making 'sense' of Wittgenstein's senselessness / nonsense distinction in the Tractatus

For this question I'm just considering Wittgenstein's theory at the time of the Tractatus. As far as I know, for Wittgenstein: Meaning - The object denoted by a word (i.e. referent). Sense - The ...
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0answers
74 views

Is the couplet about mathematics and poetry about logocentricism and deconstructionism?

I find this couplet really interesting: Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things Poetry is the art of giving different names to the same thing The first one is made ...
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1answer
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Is acceptance followed by an interpretation of a sentence, acceptance of the sentence indeed?

I was wondering whether following after interpreting a sentence can be considered following the sentence or not. For example: there is a religion X which is based on a scripture Y. Now one of the ...
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315 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
80 views

Can a uxoricide be a widower too? [closed]

According to the Webster dictionary a widower is “a man who has lost his wife by death and has not married again”. Is this definition broad enough to encompass the case whereby a man kills his wife, ...
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1answer
65 views

How important are Frege works to an analytic philosopher?

Don't kill me. I know he is a big deal. But I am starting out in analytic philosophy and I am not quite sure how deep I should go in a first approach. Should I read all the context and other ...
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1answer
271 views

The mathematical language of the brain

This question is similar, but not identical, to one I posted to the mathematics SE some time ago. I was originally unsure of where to post it. I believe this question is sufficiently different to ...
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2answers
123 views

Machines vs Chaos of Human Language

Will it ever be possible for machines to understand language the way humans do? It is a famous XKCD comic strip pointing out how "Language isn't a formal system. It is a glorious chaos". It ...
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1answer
62 views

Why do certain combinations of words that refer to nothing (such as “square circle”) sound like they refer to something?

"hysterical soft" "productive selection" "eatable aboard" "square circle" All four of these phrases are incomprehensible, meaningless. Why do so many people use "square circle" in arguments ...
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1answer
27 views

Any great commentary of “On Sense and Nominatum” by Frege?

I'm reading it and I feel that I sometimes I need some level of context. Thanks.
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2answers
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Language and consciousness

Background When studying German, I started to think in language and its relation to reality. The story I came up with is like this: As we know we born with no language. The baby starts trying things....
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2answers
113 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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The possibility of linking two perceptual modalities in a coherent way

I am reading the book of Roy Harris "Rethinking writing" and see his arguments in favor of autonomity of writing from speech. There could be no complete isomorphism between any system of visible ...
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3answers
289 views

What does Frege mean by “Cognitive Significance” in “On Sense and Nominatum”?

I'm reading Frege's "On Sense and Nominatum" and he uses "Cognitive significance", "Genuine Cognition"... I kind of infer from the context of each paragraph what he means with those kinds of phrases ...
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70 views

how a definition for an object is arrived

is our definitions of words based in properties ? for example we have a banana.We define banana from its image? but if this true if we find something that looks like banana but smells like hot dog ...
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57 views

List of topics in philosophy relevant to mathematics, and open problems in them?

I know of open problems in model theory, but would like to know about philosophical problems (philosophy of language, Husserl's phenomenology ) that have relevance in set theory or type theory.
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89 views

What works have been done of applying theories about philosophy of mind to other branches of philosophy?

On several occasions I have heard that Philosophy of Mind is "the first philosophy" of our time. But if this is true, I think thoeries about Philosophy of Mind should be able to be applied to other ...
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1answer
83 views

Linguistic philosophical distinction between 'believe in' & 'believe that'

Can someone explain the linguistic philosophical distinction between 'believe in' and 'believe that'? (HH Price came up with the initial idea of the two entities)
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2answers
98 views

Apart from clarification, what are some uses of formal logic in philosophy?

I've done some personal research on formal logic, but I was wondering how philosophers today actually use it to, say, develop an argument. The most relevant example I can think of is Plantinga's ...
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1answer
167 views

Undefined terms

How do we introduce the use of undefined terms and why are we allowed to do so? What is the difference between setting the rules of usage/manipulation and actually giving a definition?
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31 views

Dictionary English - logic/formal symbols/expresssions

I'd like to know whether there's some kind of database offering the logic or formal" equivalent of English expressions, for example the conjunction "whereas", which has at least two meanings, each ...
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76 views

Quantificational vs Referential vs Predicational descriptions

Reading Peter Ludlow's article on descriptions, it's clear to me that descriptions can be interpreted, found or considered in 3 different ways. They can be seen as quantificational, referential or ...
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1answer
183 views

The hanging judge

I came across the below problem in book: 101 Philosophical problems. And wondering for a while what the possible answer could be? Any thoughts? Problem Now Judge Dread had had many disagreeable ...
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97 views

Kripke's Puzzle Confusion

I'm not convinced that the Fregean rebuttal has been successfully repelled by Kripke in Kripke's puzzle. Don't Londres and London have two different senses in that Pierre associates Londres with being ...
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2answers
194 views

Semantic Values of Sentences

I'm after the proper method for constructing semantic values of whole sentences out of the semantic values of individual words. There are also a few individual words I'm curious about as well. If we ...
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1answer
389 views

Why substitutivity doesn't work in an intensional context?

I was trying to grasp some more insights on the difference between intensional and extensional. I started reading this article by Melvin Fitting on intensional logic. It seems interesting but I ...
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3answers
168 views

What is an art? When an act becomes an art? what is it's length & breadth? [closed]

I would like to know what exactly is an art. Can we consider an act of murdering without getting caught as an art? Can we consider an act of inflaming the crowd or mob for mass destruction an art? ...
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2answers
162 views

Does fictional discourse pose special difficulties for logic?

Natural language is context-dependent, like the statement “My uncle is a plumber”, which is true or false depending on who asserts it. There has been lots of discussion about fictional entities and ...
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114 views

How to define identity of intension?

In philosophy, there is much mention of the intension/extension distinction. Two properties can be extensionally equal but not intensionally equal. It is very easy to define when two properties are ...
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54 views

Are statements of the form “I claim that X” always true?

Suppose I were to say that "I claim that I am the happiest person in the world.". Would that statement, and similar statements, be true? It does not state that I am indeed the happiest, only that I ...