Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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4answers
201 views

Metathinking impossible without ordinary language?

Many years ago I read somewhere that metathinking is absolutely impossible without ordinary language (be it a natural language like English, or a constructed one like Esperanto). After this statement ...
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1answer
86 views

Do sentences that are “selection violations” have truth values?

Given a grammatical sentence like "Colorless green grass sleeps furiously" is it possible to assign a truth value to it?
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1answer
66 views

Does gender theory explain gender in linguistics?

Considering that one of the roots of Gender theory lies in linguistics via Derrida through deconstruction and subversion; and that Man as a subject not only thinks but also speaks (and possibly spoke ...
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0answers
21 views

Truth value for objects that are not included in definitions

Consider the statement "This triangle has radius 3" and the statement "This cat is a chihuahua". Both radius and chihuahua are terms defined for different kind of objects than the objects we are ...
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151 views

Protreptic to Philosophy of Language?

I have a friend who is quite interested in language, the idea of language, and so on. I myself am a philosophy student but one who has not done much reading in phil of language. I'd like to find some ...
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30 views

Is it reasonable to conflate being and truth?

Let x be something that exists unequivocally. Then "x exists" is true, but does it make sense to say x itself is true? And vice versa - the proposition "x exists" is true, but is there a sense in ...
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2answers
94 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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71 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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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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60 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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73 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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92 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 ...
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50 views

What does “Something” mean ontologically?

Many refer to the question of there is something rather than nothing by assuming that something refers to the universe. Is the word “something” an existential quantification in this context? Is ...
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34 views

Where did Kuhn write his last thoughts about incommensurability?

Kuhn continued to develop his conceptual approach to incommensurability. At the time of his death he had made considerable progress on a book in which he related incommensurability to issues in ...
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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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1answer
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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1answer
86 views

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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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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2answers
292 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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1answer
123 views

Does the existence of the proposition require language to be referential?

If we grant that there is a proposition wherein something meaningful is being asserted, does that require us to think of language as essentially representative in some way? If language didn't contain ...
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139 views

The Rhizome, Language and Theatatus

The very first chapter of Deleuzes Thousand Plateaus contains the following as an example of a Rhizome: Principles of connection and heterogeneity: any point of a Rhizome can be connected to any ...
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2answers
60 views

If-then statement and time between antecedent and consequent

Suppose the following statement. "If I kick the ball then the ball will hit the wall." Can this sentence have a truth value? I mean the time that I kick the ball, it hasn't reached the wall so the ...
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2answers
115 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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3answers
110 views

Are definitions temporary?

We can define an "electrical device" as a device that works with electricity etc. Suppose that the theory of electromagnetism would be proved wrong in the future. Would then make sense to speak about "...
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6answers
355 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
395 views

The more you know, the more you don't know

What is wrong with the following argument? The more you study, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know....
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2answers
122 views

Can you teach something you don't know? [closed]

Is it possible to teach something you don't know?
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2answers
100 views

A philosophical problem on 'definition' of words [closed]

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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1answer
46 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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2answers
320 views

Can any one experience the World without a language? if yes to what extent, if no, why not?

By listening, speaking, seeing and reflecting on words made by the alphabets of a language - one experiences the World. How far is this correct? Can any one experience the World without a language? if ...
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1answer
143 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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2answers
138 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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6answers
216 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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1answer
191 views

If the referent is the thing referred to, what is the thing referring? [closed]

This is a very quick question, and the title says it all. For example, we may take the phrase "this tree" (standing, as we are, in front of a tree) to refer to that tree. We call that tree the ...
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1answer
265 views

Is the evolution & development of language better described by Deleuze concept of the rhizome than the traditional tree? [closed]

Deleuze & Guattari introduce the idea of the rhizome in their text A thousand Plateaus as a metaphor closer to the reality than aboroscent (tree-like) descriptions can. The question is how does ...
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1answer
80 views

Can one systematically reduce sentence into information packages/towers?

On todays wikipedia front page, in the did you know... section, it says Did you know... ... that Niels Kaas was the chancellor of Denmark during the late 1500s? Now I find this to be somewhat ...
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67 views

Factual Statements? What determines it?

Let's say someone is growing their hair. Someone asks: "Why are you growing your hair? Any specific reason?" He returns: "Yes, I am growing it into an afro." Let's pretend that ...
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1answer
45 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
161 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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1answer
77 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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1answer
536 views

are fundamental questions like “cogito ergo sum” even provable? [closed]

The rationalist descartian position states that everything can be doubted except doubt itself. With the phrase "cogito ergo sum" it claims to establish the existence of one ones existence, if i did ...
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1answer
132 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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0answers
158 views

A question on the proposition Nature = mathematics

Some philosophers and physicists claim that nature is mathematics at its foundations. This can be considered a non-transcendental form of Platonic realism. The problem I have with this statement is ...
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5answers
2k views

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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2answers
79 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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1answer
74 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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1answer
508 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
58 views

Is there an recommended text for the difference between what people say and what they do? [closed]

trld; I’m interested in the philosophical difference between ‘what people say’ and ‘what people do’, where can I find an introductory text that discusses this. I’m aware the following are generic ...
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1answer
137 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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1answer
205 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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