Questions tagged [philosophy-of-language]

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

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47 views

Need of source for the 2nd half of “On sense and reference”

As you know, much of the second half of “On Sense and Reference” is devoted to carefully considering when subordinate clauses and embedded sentences contribute customary or indirect senses to the ...
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2answers
217 views

Is difference between 'free will' and 'imaginary obligation' purely connotational?

Consider the concepts of 'free will' and 'imaginary obligation'. Under certain circumstances they seem hard to differentiate (i.e. somebody 'really wants' to relisten a track of music, or perhaps it '...
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81 views

Is “certainty” an either/or term or does it lay on a spectrum?

Is it just that you are either certain or uncertain, or can you be very certain and somewhat certain? If it’s either/or, I know it would make sense to say “almost certain,” but “very certain” wouldn’t ...
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43 views

Gutenberg technology effects on human psyche

McLuhan is claiming that Gutenberg technology was the reason of human psyche fragmentation, primitivism and social conformism. I am trying to find links between Gutenberg technology and the phenomenon ...
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1answer
65 views

What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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1answer
59 views

Difficulty trying to distinguish between an illocutionary act and speech act

Consider the following scenario: an impatient man is sitting in a restaurant, and asked the waiter 'Where is my dinner?'. My understanding is this: Asking for the location of the man's dinner is the ...
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1answer
240 views

can sentences be true or false

I am confused about the relationship between sentences and propositions. Admittedly what a proposition is has been controversial. I have heard people characterizing it as the meaning and truth-...
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1answer
81 views

What is the meaning of “object of” in this context?

This is the context: ...object of self-reference: 1) a sentence that negates its own truth. 2) an event that negates its own existence... The topic is about the concept of self-reference in ...
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1answer
98 views

Is the normative value of linguistic usage a counterexample to the impossibility of deriving “ ought” from “is”?

I really believe that one cannot derive " ought" from "is". But the case of linguistic usage causes me some intellectual trouble. (1) Linguistic usage is a simple fact. (2) Linguistic usage ...
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1answer
156 views

What does Tarski mean when he says that truth is a property of sentences?

A fundamental statement of Tarski's Theory of Truth is that truth is a property of sentences. What does this statement mean? What kind of Truth is it referring to? What is the formal definition of '...
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2answers
236 views

Analogy and hypothetical reasoning

Many times we use hypothetical analogies to make a difference more clear. For example suppose we have John and George and John is faster than George. We can say if John and George were vehicles , John ...
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1answer
77 views

Is there a truth value for a predictive conditional?

Does a predictive conditional have a truth table value? I have this question because we can't check if the antecedent or consequent is true or false.
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1answer
110 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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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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3answers
245 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
188 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
127 views

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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3answers
93 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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1answer
295 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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1answer
282 views

Does later Wittgenstein think that the pragmatic test for meaning is a determinant of semantic content to the exclusion of any other determinant?

Wittgenstein originally put forward the 'picture theory of meaning', which propagated that a given sentence or word is meaningful insofar as it corresponds to a fact or 'picture' of the world. The ...
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1answer
105 views

The Death of Language - what does it mean?

I see this concept or idea mentioned in few essays. Afaiu - the end of language - the limit of language - death of meaning - .... But what does it mean - abstractly and/or practically?
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1answer
451 views

How Russell and Ramsey misunderstood Wittgenstein with regard to the problem of the perfection of language?

In the Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus there is a tension between the aim of achieving a language perfectly ordered, with regard to natural language, and the evidence that the latter is not really ...
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1answer
286 views

How can statements in linguistics be falsifiable?

Linguistics is the scientific study of languages, and yet it seems to me that many, if not most statements would fail falsificationist or even verificationist demarcation criteria. How can statements ...
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1answer
107 views

Does everything have at least one rigid designator?

Put antother way Proposition 1: for anything that exists in this world I can find/construct, even if just by assertion, a rigid designator that applies to it. Proposition 2: like proposition 1 but ...
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1answer
628 views

How can I tell when a term is a rigid designator?

Basically the title question: How can I tell if a term is a rigid designator? So far all I have is that proper names are (or can be, since there is a difference between "being named Barack Obama" ...
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1answer
166 views

Concrete language as a manifestation of Being [closed]

Foucault in the preface to The Order of Things wrote how he 'laughed out loud' when he discovered a Chinese Encyclopedia whose categorisation of knowledge was different from his European ...
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2answers
393 views

Abstract versus Concrete

Who drew the line between abstract/concrete and general/specific in the philosophy of language? Are there any comprehensive resources on the early history of their development specifically with ...
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40 views

Nietzsche's stance on how language makes us live in a world of “things” and “events”

In A Teacher's Introduction to Postmodernism by R. Linn, it says: Whereas Kant argued that the concept of a "thing", as opposed to en "event", was produced in consciousness as a ...
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1answer
69 views

How can Native Americans regain sovereignty over their cultural institutions? [closed]

Daniel Wildcat, of Native American ancestry, made the following statement in a book he coauthored: Even though we can translate most of the realities of the Indian social world into concepts familiar ...
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41 views

What are the similarities between Zellig Harris' work and Chomsky's early work of Generative grammars?

Since my knowledge of Chomsky's work is limited to context free grammars I am particularly interested in the relation of Zellig's work to Chomsky's conception of abstract syntax trees and automata ...
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205 views

How does Plato's theory of forms relate to his epistemology and philosophy of language?

In dialogues like Cratylus and Theatatus, it seems to me that Plato paints a very skeptical picture of our capacity to know or articulate knowledge. In Cratylus he doubts the possibility of language ...
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2answers
131 views

Are there some kinds of arguments in defense of Private Language?

Could the beetle in the box not play any role in our…?Or will the similar neurological constituents and the same physical input provide some supports to the "pain",in a (Kantian) way that each person ...
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65 views

Bibliography for a beginner in philosophy of language

In my main time, I am a mathematician working in logic and category theory. As a logician, I am familiar with some bits of philosophy of language. Stuff I have read: Word and object, Quine. Naming ...
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139 views

How does imprecise and ambiguous natural language relate to the equivocation fallacy and how can we know what words mean?

I am feeling really confused on how we colloquially use and redefine words and sometime use the equivocation fallacy. I have fallen into equivocation language traps before, and as I become more aware ...
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80 views

Difficulty finding real life examples of the bad reasons fallacy, is this fallacy committed often?

I understand that the bad reasons fallacy is committed when one assumes that a conclusion is false just because the argument is bad. But is this fallacy committed very often?
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84 views

Logical, semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truth teller and the Liar (draft) can an expert on the matter give feedback?

Title: Logical semantic and self-referential paradoxes: The Truthteller and the Liar (draft, informal) (major) assumption: A statement is either true or not true (law of excluded middle, classical ...
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79 views

Intellectual History of Idea in A Geneaology of Morals Essay One

In Nietzsche's first essay in A Geneaology of Morals, he suggests that use of language in which subjects and verbs are distinguished may influence or at least correspond to conceptual distinctions in ...
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38 views

Has any consensualists written on Wittgenstein?

"This was our paradox: no course of action could be determined by a rule, because any course of action can be made out to accord with the rule" - Wittgenstein This paradox is purported to call ...
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107 views

Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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1answer
78 views

When to label a philosopher as either a western philosopher or an eastern philosopher? [closed]

The criterion that determines a person who is professionally trained in philosophy and does philosophical research, to be either a western or eastern philosopher is not clear to me. Suppose, we have ...
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53 views

Relation of Propositions to Reality

Consider world. I see the world, note some state of affairs, and I make some interesting proposition P which describes it. Another person now reads it. What the other person sees is just P. This P is ...
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69 views

Does Langan think syntax is meaning free isomorphic structures?

Refer: Christopher Langan, "An Introduction to Mathematical Metaphysics", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 13, no. 2, 2017 Accepting syntax is that part or ...
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57 views

Making Moral Judgement: Thick Concepts versus Normative Concepts

In G. E. Anscombe's article "Modern Moral Philosophy", she thinks that it is meaningless to make moral judgements such as something is right, wrong, permissible and impermissible. Secondly, she thinks ...
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34 views

What criteria does Frank Jackson give in order to assert the negation of a conditional?

In Frank Jackson's paper, On Assertion and Indicative Conditionals he gives a criteria for when one should assert a conditional (material conditional). This criteria is given in terms of conditional ...
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184 views

Is this a solution to the disjunction problem of causal representation?

As I understand it, the disjunction problem is how could a causal theory of inner representation account for mistaken identification of external objects or object types. For example, if I see a fox ...
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3answers
77 views

When we talk about a general concept, we imagine a particular instance

I'm looking to find some resources to read about the following: When we talk about a general concept (the word pencil in "a pencil is made of wood"), we actually have a mental image of a particular ...
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114 views

Do all “meta” questions within philosophy reduce to descriptive and normative?

At first, under "meta" I, of course, mean such things as metaphilosophy, metaethics, and some other "metas" trying to answer the questions "What is X?", "What properties does X have?", etc. And this ...
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133 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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91 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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2answers
74 views

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....