Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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55 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 ...
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241 views

What are the correct terms for a concept and the real thing it represents?

Realism about an object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. Does that mean that if I am thinking about an apple, the concept of the apple is in my ...
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What are possible resolutions of the length unit paradox stemming from Zeno's Paradoxes?

The paradox in question: If every unit of length is made up of smaller units of length, it seems that you need to have units of length before a unit of length can come into existence. But this is ...
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203 views

Frege and Value-Range

I have been reading Kevin C. Klement's article on Gottlob Frege in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. I am confused by the term "value-range", which is used numerous times throughout the article....
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1answer
186 views

How would Quine's theory of indeterminacy of translation apply to a young child learning their native language?

In Word and Object, Quine wrote about how we can never be sure as to what a word actually means in and translates into our own language if we were a linguist studying an un-contacted native tribal ...
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670 views

Frege's Argument About the Sense and Reference of a Sentence

Here is the text I am working with: http://brianrabern.net/sensereference.pdf As the title of this thread indicates, I am having trouble understanding Frege's argument that the thought of sentence (i....
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133 views

Chomsky— On Language and the Essential Chomsky

I have taken an interest in the philosophy of language and have studied on my own the equivalent of a undergrad course in the philosophy of language. I want to know if Chomsky's On Language is ...
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1answer
48 views

How to study Inquiry and questions on their own?

I was wondering,that we can think about love,god,faith etc... by asking questions about them. But what about questions themselves? How can we think about them? They don't seem to have any tangible ...
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1answer
91 views

What theoretical underpinnings, if any, connect Philosophy with Linguistics?

I am curious about any similarities or assumptions even in the two fields that may link them. I suppose formal semantic analyses may be one area (broadly speaking) but perhaps there are others...? I ...
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1answer
98 views

What does Russell mean when he's rephrasing “I have two hands”?

In Russell's book "History of Western Philosophy," he talks about the uniqueness of numbers, and how numbers are different from perceptions. And so he discusses the sentence "I have two hands" - where ...
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Does something permanent really need to accompany private sensations in Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument?

Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses at length the argument against the coherence of a private language throughout his published works. My question is, are there any objections to the argument that work ...
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Difference between Carnap and Quine's views

Could someone explain to me, in easy language, what the main differences are between Carnap and Quine's views regarding internal / external questions and realism? Quine called Carnap a Platoist, yet I ...
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Is philosophy a science? [duplicate]

When it comes to philosopshy it feels to me a bit like astrology, where there are some things that can work, but mostly because of auto-suggestion, or any other kind of suggestions. So, I wonder if ...
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1answer
120 views

Is there a contemporary survey of exportation?

In "Unrestricted Exportation and Some Morals for the Philosophy of Language", Kripke discusses unrestricted exportation in relation to the de dicto / de re distinction. In this paper he cites a few ...
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3answers
232 views

Someone said argument A, the other heard argument A', is that a fallacy?

Here's a simple dialogue between me and my wife. Wife: why don't you clean the cup after using it? Me: I always clean after me whatever I use. Wife: You're speaking about something else. That wasn'...
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1answer
173 views

When does a watermelon cease to be watermelon?

Let's say you have a watermelon. If you were to cut this watermelon into four slices and take one of the slices, this slice would not be a watermelon. But it could still be called "watermelon" as a ...
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1answer
366 views

Isomorphism vs homomorphism in the Tractatus' picture theory of language

People often mention that there is an isomorphic nature between language and the world in the Tractatus' conception of language. As far as I can see it, according to Wittgenstein (it's been a few ...
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203 views

what's the word/idea that everything has to be tested by science for it to count as fact? [closed]

UPDATE -- go educate yourself --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEPcQ6sIOTY note: being helpful is more important than anything else, please recommend in answers, comments, etc. [ solved ] what's ...
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105 views

What is meant by the following: This law is well motivated in cases where we may be ignorant of the facts

The folllowing text is taken from a part in a book (reference below) which are about mathematical philosophy. "... the theorem of classical logic known as the law of excluded middle: for every ...
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1answer
184 views

Is language a living system? [closed]

Think about it, the words behave like genes. Strongest words survive. Words mutate, combine, and cross. Words evolve. And we, people (with all our information carrying devices), are their environment.
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94 views

Normativity and causal explanation of the mind

It is claimed by a lot of philosophers that because we are normative creatures, it is impossible to explain our minds in purely causal terms. Jerry Fodor writes (in LOT2) ... contents of symbols ...
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2answers
164 views

Should I use “philosophy” as a noun to describe my world view? [closed]

I do this often. I use the word "philosophy" to indicate I am talking about the way I think. I use it to indicate my own personal beliefs and conclusions about the world. It is in a sense a disclaimer ...
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487 views

How to distinguish philosophy and literature? [closed]

How can we impartially distinguish philosophy and literature? In other words, if in the whole of an author's work there is not one single knowledge claim, then is it misnomer that the work be ...
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1answer
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What is understanding (of natural language texts) and how can we test or measure it?

What is the definition of the understanding of (written) natural language and how can we test or measure this understanding? What is understanding of the symbolic knowledge be it encoded in any form? ...
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530 views

What are the relations between externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine) about meaning?

Three points are not clear to me about the relations between semantic externalism (Kripke, Putnam) and holism (Quine): Is there a way according to which externalism and holism can be held together or ...
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137 views

Is “destroyer of hope” same as “bringer of hopelessness”?

Assuming that "hopelessness" is absence of hope, if hope was there in the first place then hope can be "taken away" or "destroyed" which could be done a "bringer of hopelessness". Is "taking hope" ...
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Can we express the present tense without indexicality? [closed]

Can we express the present tense without indexicality? If so, what would that expression refer to, a present that did not chnage tense?
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223 views

Wittgenstein's Challenge: Good Practice or Bad Advice?

Wittgenstein, in his Tractacus, lays out a number of interesting propositions. His 7th is famous for the odd advice it seems to suggest. It reads: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be ...
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2answers
238 views

References for the study of language

I'm looking for (not too difficult too read) references related to Semiotics Philosophy of Language Philosophy of Linguistics I mainly seek the understanding of ideas about the relation between ...
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2answers
132 views

What is post truth? And is there any real justification that we have moved into that kind of a world? [closed]

Oxford has defined it as---> ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief'. Now to me, ...
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6answers
215 views

Should words only be represented by finite and linearly structured graphemes?

Knowing that the words in a written language can be represented by combinations of symbols (e.g. letters of an alphabet), I would be interested to learn what kinds of structural restrictions there are ...
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Does Google's latest translation tool support Jerry Fodor's Language of Thought Hypothesis?

Google recently updated their translation tool so that it can now translate between language pairs that it hadn't seen before, something they're calling "zero-shot translation." See here for the full ...
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510 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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3answers
241 views

Can there be an objective purpose?

If we define purpose as the reason for which something exists. Can there be an objective purpose for something?
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481 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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1answer
183 views

Can an Argument be ever a hypothesis? [closed]

Can I have an argument which can be a hypothesis?
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90 views

Certain questions on Derrida's conception of languange?

Several days ago, I read this comic. And its explanation: A big project of 20th century analytic philosophers, such as Frege, Carnap and Russell, was to either ground language in logic, or to ...
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266 views

Does a philosophy of language presuppose a philosophy of mind?

Ever since the "linguistic turn", philosophers have been keenly aware of the need of analyzing certain questions about language. In retrospect, John Searle, in Expression and Meaning, notes "the ...
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447 views

What is the fallacy of defining a square as “a closed-plane figure whose sides are all equal”?

I am determined to prove my professor wrong. Here is a question from a recent exam: Using the six definitional criteria, evaluate the following definition. A square is a closed-plane figure whose ...
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242 views

Can there be a sufficient account of meaning without an account of intentionality?

Much has been said in recent philosophy in criticism of representationalist theories of meaning. The idea is that any representation can represent what it will only in a prior, limiting context. ...
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Would a pragmatist allow that meaning is representational of things in its use?

Pragmatism contends that use should be stressed when talking about the meaning of words before 'representation'. But what if we were to look at signification/representation as a sort of activity? If ...
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100 views

The scope of Analytic discussion about sentences

Kripke and Quine argue both for 2 different ideas (about which I will write shortly) but their objectives are common - to say something about the nature of sentences. Yet, It seems to me like they don'...
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221 views

Can somebody please give me good tips about how to write a high quality philosophy essay? [duplicate]

I am quite well read, and I understand the philosophy papers I read quite well. But I am a very sloppy writer. Whatever I write comes back with commentaries degrading my papers. What should I do to ...
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242 views

What arguments support the idea that rational thinking requires language use?

The idea that rationality has language as a necessary condition might be called, per Brandom, lingualism. What are the most popular arguments for this position? Why should we think that the way we ...
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231 views

Difference between information and knowledge?

As far as I think projection of data unto subject mind is information for the subject whereas indentation or impressions accumulated owing to projection of data unto subject mind is knowledge for the ...
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146 views

Can a sentence denote itself?

Consider a string 'self', and let 'self' denote itself -- that is, 'self' denotes 'self'. Thus, since 'self' denotes self, and denotation is a single-valued predicate, we get that 'self' is self. ...
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535 views

Do abstract ideas exist or are they only to be found in language?

Is there any reason to imagine that abstract ideas exist when they are nowhere to be found except in language? No more is known today, for example, about Platonic Forms than upon initial utterance ...
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92 views

“… a thing is an English word only if it has meaning.” – or is it?

From Geoffrey Hunter's Metalogic, p.5: ... a thing is an English word only if it has meaning. At this point I stopped reading the textbook, and thought to myself: "Is this really so?". NB: I don't ...
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290 views

How do pragmatists explain how words attach to things in reality?

If I'm feeling particularly despotic I can tell my daughter to go pick me up an apple in the dining room. A couple of seconds later and I am greeted with the thunk of an apple dropping on my lap. ...
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248 views

What is the Fregeian meaning of “grasping”?

Frege holds in Der Gedanke that the Thought is the unity of existence because he considers Thought and proposition to be the very same thing, and our cognition of non-propositional objects is ...

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