Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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3
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1answer
82 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
202 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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1answer
93 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
285 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 ...
3
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1answer
521 views

What responses have made to Kripke's criticism of the descriptivist theory of meaning?

Under the influence of Kripke's acute analysis, there has been a growing trend of modern essentialism, or in other words, the assertion that there are 'essential' descriptors (rigid designators) that '...
3
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1answer
289 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
527 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 ...
3
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4answers
389 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
83 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
141 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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0answers
101 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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159 views

Parsing the actionable in standpoint theory

A recent Hugo Schwyzer article laid out the following explanation of "Strong Objectivity": We can never adopt a true “view from nowhere.” We can defy gravity in outer space, but we can never slip ...
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4answers
219 views

Are opinions considered statements?

‘Aristotle was great’. Is this a statement? I consider a statement to be something either true or false (but not both). For an individual, this may be considered a statement (because either you ...
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2answers
5k views

How many legs does a dog have?

I recently came across a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg. Is this really so? Imagine the ...
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5answers
671 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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3answers
325 views

Are there many minds or is there only one?

"If a lion could speak, we cannot understand it" - Ludwig Wittgenstein Machines vs Chaos of Human Language Mathematical Consensus Is a proof still valid if only the author understands it? ...
2
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3answers
284 views

How can truth exist if every statement is ambiguous? [closed]

I have read online and personally believe that every statement has some degree of ambiguity to it. With this in mind, I was wondering how any propositions can be true. For example, I have heard some ...
2
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1answer
576 views

what is the exact meaning of bedeutung for Frege?

When we read the seminal essay of "sense and reference" by Frege, one of the most important ambiguity is the meaning of "bedeutung". Of course Michael Dummett the Late great philosopher point out to ...
2
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3answers
249 views

How did Wittgenstein become interested in the philosophy of language?

As far as I know he was doing engineering and became interested in the foundations of mathematics and went to Frege and upon his advice he went to study logic from Russell. So what happened which ...
2
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3answers
564 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 ...
2
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3answers
103 views

Can anything be considered to be meaningful if it is neither a subject nor predicate?

When we say 'Ed is mean', 'Ed' is the subject and 'mean' is the predicate. Can any existing thing or any notion of existence itself be considered meaningful if it cannot possibly fit into these two ...
2
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4answers
2k views

Is there any Philosophical significance to why Plato chose to present his work in the form of a dialogue?

Spinoza presented his work in a proposition/theorem format following Euclid, presumably to varnish his work in the seemingly eternal verities of mathematics. Is there any significance as to why Plato ...
2
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3answers
93 views

Are There Finitary Logical Constraints on Converting Recursive Syntax to Semantics?

From the logical standpoint can we continue these series on and on and still be able to make sense of it? 1. I know <--- no problem 2. I know ...
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2answers
242 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 ...
2
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3answers
613 views

What is the point of reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics?

Philosophers often use reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics and philosophy of mind to make a point, to justify their position, or a thought experiment, or to reject a position or theory they do not ...
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2answers
538 views

What is meaningful?

Which propositions are considered meaningful and on what grounds? In other words, when is it correct to predicate 'meaningfulness' of the propositions?
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4answers
1k views

Book on philosophy of language for beginners

Reading books about philosophy of language I came cross a lot of terminology like "metaphysics", "epistemology", "aesthetics", "logical positivist" etc. As I'm a total beginner in this area, I'm ...
2
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1answer
224 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 ...
2
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1answer
157 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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2answers
63 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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1answer
244 views

Is it possible that philosophical problems arise because of confusions on our language?

People ask: "Who am I" or "What is a matter" but: Is it possible that those questions arise because of confusions in our language? The questions seem intangible and hugely based on the luxuries that ...
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2answers
214 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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2answers
4k views

How do we know something is a “category mistake”?

I believe that Gilbert Ryle introduced the term "category mistake", but I am struggling to apply the term. Could you please give me an obvious and less obvious instance of a category-mistake? And if ...
2
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2answers
203 views

What emotion corresponds to courage?

In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle outlines an axis for lache (courage); where one extreme is cowardice, and the other recklessness. One can associate the emotion of fear with cowardice, but what ...
2
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2answers
266 views

Does language itself support the extended mind hypothesis?

language, even when taking into Chomskys hypothesis of the biological ground of 'Deep Grammar', is primarily public: The English language is not built into our minds, it is 'out there'. I come into ...
2
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1answer
210 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 ...
2
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1answer
196 views

What is the subject of Tractatus by Wittgenstein?

Is Tractatus about the Philosophy of language or Philosophy of logic. I was hearing John Searle's lecture and he said there are two strands in Philosophy of language :- 1. Logical theory of language 2....
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1answer
322 views

Are A series and B series actually about time or only about language?

Actually, A series is represented by sentences like: She was home yesterday. B series represented by sentences like: She was home on the 24th of August, 2018. A-theory represents time as A ...
2
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2answers
148 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 ...
2
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4answers
1k 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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2answers
240 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
687 views

What are the objections to the picture theory of language?

The title says it all. I am just interested to explore the objections briefly. I'll really appreciate if all is explained in layman's term and suggestion to helpful material is also welcome.
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2answers
642 views

Examples of non formal languages [closed]

I recently began looking at languages from a mathematical perspective. From a mathematical perspective a formal language is the widest definition of a language I have found. However, there is a ...
2
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3answers
254 views

How to deal with counterfactuals with false antecedents

Consider the following hypothetical question: If there were two moons, what kind of poem would be composed? There are two ways of considering this type of statement that I find unexciting: Any ...
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2answers
159 views

Is anything known about the content of Sraffa's critique of Wittgenstein's Philosophy?

in the preface to Wittgensteins Philosophical Investigations he says: For since beginning to occupy myself with philosophy sixteen years ago I have been forced to recognise grave mistakes in what I ...
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2answers
132 views

Do linguists call human language “natural”? [closed]

From a recent question (Could a programming language be considered as a language?), it came to me the impression that there may be some confusion about the terminology professional linguists use, when ...
2
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1answer
63 views

What would prevent me from putting brains in vats?

Following Putnam, I cannot possibly be a brain in a vat, because (if my understanding is correct) I can only refer to "vats" that are not the ones in which I suggest my brain could be. But what ...
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1answer
144 views

What are some opinions about what beauty is in poetry? [closed]

I am interested in hearing some explanations about what beauty is in poetry and subjectively define what makes a poem beautiful.
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1answer
131 views

Questions about the relationship between Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations and Tractatus

I've read the Tractatus and am now working my way through Investigations, and I have a few questions about their relationship to one another. Obviously I've heard that the latter is critical of the ...
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1answer
120 views

Philosophers who did not think that language is more special than cognition as a whole

There are pretty many philosophers who talked and wrote on the philosophy of language. Usually language only means the use of words and symbols, however, I noticed that symbols may have different ...

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