Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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1answer
136 views

Is there a formalized logic for adpositional connectives?

Certain words in natural language are more amenable to logical formalization. The conjunction "and" or weak conditional "unless" are easily applied to break statements into their constituent atomic ...
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2answers
201 views

which philosopher was suspicious of the word “natural”?

He was suspicious because he noticed that the word "natural" is often used to convince people that something is "true without need for further explanation" - a suspicious usage, certainly. Heard ...
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0answers
212 views

Are all languages related? [closed]

This question was prompted by this newspaper article saying: Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the end ...
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3answers
1k views

Cheap linguistic trick

Consider the statement "I'm moving". It seems to me that this statement can be both true and false. That is, because motion is relative, I may not be moving relative to the Earth (i.e. standing still),...
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4answers
320 views

Generalizing mathematical concepts

It's sometimes useful and interesting to generalize mathematical concepts - e.g., turning the familiar notion of number of things in a given set into the concept of cardinality of a set, etc. Lately I ...
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6answers
1k 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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3answers
489 views

Why are exclamations like “Ouch!” not considered propositions?

Doesn't "Ouch!" mean "I am experiencing discomfort", which is a proposition?
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3answers
261 views

Are there token events?

The type/token distinction appears to be generally explained in terms of objects. A given Honda Accord is, e.g., a token of of the type "Honda Accord". However, the literature I have read seems to do ...
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4answers
225 views

Wittgenstein maintains language is public, can this be correct?

I come into the world where other beings are using language. I learn this. Those beings have come into the world where other beings are using language. They learn it. Those other beings come into ...
3
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1answer
834 views

Why does Philosophy of Language matter?

Why does philosophy of language matter? I'm not trying to troll here; I'm interested in what people who find this subject fascinating are so fascinated about!
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4answers
886 views

Is Horse a Concept?

Frege famously said horse is not a concept (it is an object). When we consider the sentence 'Socrates is a philosopher', 'Socrates' is an object and 'philosopher' is a concept, and there is a copula, ...
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1answer
843 views

Is it possible that a question has only two answers?

□ yes □ no "no" implies that a closed system with only two options like the one above is impossible. If you accept that such a system is possible by the way, it generates paradoxical results, since ...
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2answers
474 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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2answers
636 views

What does Putnam mean by “indexicality”?

I just studied Putnams "Meaning and Reference" (http://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/analytic/Putnam1973.pdf) Then he talks about indexicality . What exactly does it mean when we say that a word, or some ...
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5answers
210 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
147 views

Does anyone know any philosophers who engage with (ordinary language) dictionaries in their work?

This may be a strange question, but here's the breakdown. I work on a concept that has received very little philosophical attention. For this reason, I have to consult good old dictionaries (Oxford, ...
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107 views

Are propositions of logic for the tractarian Wittgenstein “sinnlos satze”?

For the tractarian Wittgenstein propositions of logic did not have a meaning because logic was only an instrument. Given that he divided meaningless propositions into unsinnig satze (nonsense) and ...
3
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87 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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5answers
475 views

Can a question be bullshit?

In his essay On Bullshit Frankfurt writes: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no ...
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5answers
625 views

“The” before “future” means we believe in hard determinism?

English speakers put the definite article "the" before the word "future" when they refer to the future (no pun intended). For example: In the future, everyone will have access to clean water. Does ...
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1answer
563 views

Is Ludwig Wittgenstein connected to post-structuralism?

Wittgenstein said that "If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it". He also said that a private language is not possible. In my view, structuralism and post-structuralism also talk about these ...
3
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1answer
194 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....
3
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1answer
126 views

Why may I considere Wittgenstein a Kantian thinker with regard to metaphysics?

Wittgenstein is a Kantian philosopher as far as the structure of the Tractatus, as far as the last part (section 6 and comments) are concerned with: that I cannot speak about the subject in the ...
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2answers
307 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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295 views

What is the relevance of Kripke’s modal argument against Frege’s description theory of names?

I am trying to learn a bit about the philosophy of language and I am puzzled by Kripke’s modal argument against Frege’s description theory of names. I’m guessing, and guessing is what I mean since I ...
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1answer
473 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 ...
3
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1answer
395 views

Is there a word for 'language as the house of being'?

Heidegger asserts in Letter on Humanism that: language is the house of being. In its home human brings live. Is there a specific word in German, or Greek (considering Heidegger was a classicist) ...
3
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1answer
85 views

What is the Frege-Sense of “I am here”

I am fairly familiar with Frege's usage of sense and reference, but how does he deal with indexicals?
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1answer
93 views

Does the word 'And' refer?

The word 'house' and the word 'shed' refer - they are physical things we can point to (their referent). Now consider the word 'and' - this at first appears to not refer to anything. If one is trained ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Is the classification of information a result of properties inherent to that information or inherent to human reasoning?

In a paper I wrote for a class last quarter, I began with the concept of "music as a lens for culture" and ultimately ended up drawing parallels between culture, language, and music -- more ...
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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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3answers
155 views

Wittgenstein and the meaning of intermediate cases

I am reading Wittgenstein's philosophical investigations and want to understand what intermediate cases are. In paragraph 122 Wittgenstein writes in the first section A main source of our failure ...
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4answers
473 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 ...
3
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1answer
98 views

On the meaning of “meaning”?

Is there a difference between the meaning of "meaning" as in "the meaning of life" and meaning as in "meaning of a proposition"? In the first case, one is referring to motivations and purposes, and ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Definition of “language” in private language arguments

What is a sensible definition of the term language to use when interpreting private language arguments in general (if possible), or Wittgenstein in particular? Conversely, is rejecting the idea of ...
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1answer
79 views

Boole on language

I am trying to understand the meaning of this quote of Boole 1847: "Language is an instrument of Logic, but not an indispensable instrument." There are something logical outside language? They are ...
3
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1answer
7k views

Language as the house of being

Heidegger writes in Letter on Humanism: Language is the House of Being. In its home human beings dwell. And then later: the widely and rapidly devastation of language not only undermines ...
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2answers
298 views

Current philosophy of language

I wanted to know what are the current status of philosophy of language. What is valid today? What philosophers are accepting? For example, during the beginning of the XX centry, we have Frege's views ...
3
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1answer
66 views

Measurement units and metaphysical necessity

I understand Kripke as arguing (in Naming and Necessity) that "a meter" is a rigid designator - it designates the same length in all possible worlds (on the other hand "the standard stick is a meter ...
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4answers
90 views

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?
3
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1answer
79 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
181 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 ...
3
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1answer
89 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 ...
3
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1answer
276 views

The Picture Theory of Meaning

I'm not quite clear as to exactly how how Wittgenstein concludes that metaphysical/non-phenomenal talk is meaningless in his Tractatus. Doesn't a statement like, "God exists" and its propositional ...
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1answer
262 views

Wittgenstein on names and paradigms [closed]

This is in a way a followup to the question on Wittgenstein's standard metre of Paris, which is part of his discussion on names in language. In philosophical investigations §55, Wittgenstein says: ...
3
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3answers
489 views

Propositions lacking referents, and their truth-values

Okay so I’ve recently been (briefly) introduced to the idea of propositions containing non-existent entities. The classic example is, of course, “The present king of France is bald.” Here the referent ...
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4answers
384 views

Why do fictional characters not exemplify properties?

I recently read about encoding and exemplifying. From what I understand - Detective Smith (a real person) exemplifies detectiveness, but Sherlock Homes does not. Sherlock Homes isn't real - and if,...
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0answers
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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0answers
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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95 views

Grice: Comparing Natural Meaning, Non-Natural Meaning, Conventional Implicature and Generalized Conversational Implicature

I am currently reading "Meaning" and "Logic and Conversation" by Paul Grice. I find it a little difficult to differentiate clearly between his concepts "natural meaning", "non-natural meaning", "...

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