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Questions tagged [semantics]

Semantics, in philosophy, often refers to "relation between signs and the things to which they refer and is seen, often, within the school of rhetoric.

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What are some logically equivalent formulations of “uniqueness”?

A monoid is a mathematical structure with an associative law of composition and an identity element. It can be proven that if an element of a monoid has an inverse, then the inverse is unique: Assume ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
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1 answer
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Wittgenstein on sense

What's sense according to Wittgenstein? I think I might have missed the definition in TLP, but I can't find it anywhere. From the context it's obvious that Wittgenstein's sense isn't that of Frege. ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
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Wittgenstein and the primary elements

What does it mean to say that we can attribute neither being nor non-being to the elements? One might say: if everything that we call “being” and “non-being” consists in the obtaining and non-...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
624 views

Wittgenstein and tautology

What does it mean to say that we can attribute neither being nor non-being to the elements? One might say: if everything that we call “being” and “non-being” consists in the obtaining and non-...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
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2 answers
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Wittgenstein's chess example

When one shows someone the king in chess and says “This is the king”, one does not thereby explain to him the use of this piece a unless he already knows the rules of the game except for this last ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
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Russell's acquittance and description

One interesting result of the above theory of denoting is this: when there is anything with which we do not have immediate acquaintance, but only definition by denoting phrases, then the ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is belief nothing but a feeling of certainty about what something means?

Or to rephrase, can beliefs also be shaped by doubts and intuitions?
Nitin Sheokand's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
41 views

Semantic externalism and transitivity of causal chains (using Putnam's brain-in-a-vat thought experiment)

TL;DR: I'm looking for information on semantic externalist views on transitivity of causal chains. Is it an objection anyone has invoked? Does it hold? What are potential pro-Putnam responses to it? ...
Amitai's user avatar
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9 answers
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Does or could ChatGPT understand text? [closed]

The following argument concludes that the common understanding of ChatGPT (trained on text, receives online users' text questions, etc.) is not supported by the science. What criticisms are there of ...
Roddus's user avatar
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10 answers
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The problem of philosophy?

“The problem of philosophy is a linguistic problem, and every disagreement can be traced back to a difference in interpretation.” “No wonder we know that the deepest problems are not really problems ...
Muhhamedbinghazi's user avatar
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Why did Ayer consider every existential proposition synthetic?

....For, since existence is not a predicate, to assert that an object exists is always to assert a synthetic proposition.... What about math objects? If I say that the triangle with two angles exists,...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
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1 answer
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The "object" notion of consciousness

Consider the following perspective: Consciousness is associated with (but not identified with) mental events describing its contents. For example, the thought, "I see a dog" can be ...
causative's user avatar
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"Present king of France" as a typical case of material implication

So why can't I consider "The present king of France is bald" as material implication? P = 'There's a present king of France', Q = 'A present king of France is bald'. Therefore "P -> ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers
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The meanings of the gerunds that are used as nouns

I can't distinguish the meanings of gerunds. Eating (gerund) (=the action of eating) Eating slowly (gerund) (=the action of eating slowly) Do they refer to the same activity? (That is, is eating ...
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1 answer
221 views

Why is Davidson's Swampman not an argument against Davidson's semantic theory?

In the swampman argument, Davidson imagines a character named Swampman, who is spontaneously formed from a swamp due to a freak lightning strike. This strike coincidentally arranges a swarm of ...
Hal's user avatar
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Signs and symbols in "Language, truth and logic"

"A factor which complicates the structure of a language such as English is the prevalence of ambiguous symbols. A symbol is said to be ambiguous when it is constituted by signs which are ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
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2 answers
219 views

Is Hegel's system really without presuppositions?

It is stated that Hegel was looking to start his system of logic and philosophy in general with what has absolutely no assumptions, frameworks, or presupposed things whatsoever. Is this really ...
Gerald Robertson's user avatar
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2 answers
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Do all theories require frameworks or assumptions to make? if so, why?

In philosophy class, particularly in epistenology, professors seem to have the assumption that to conceive of the concept of anything at all, including even this sentence now requires we have ...
Gerald Robertson's user avatar
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2 answers
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Can we define everything including even what I'm writing now or are some things undefined?

I noticed that every logical theory seems to have a meta logic or language. For instance, we say "x is so and so, it is different from so and so, therefore, x is y, etc." We have not defined ...
Gerald Robertson's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

If Large Language Models can do Maths, is Formalism true?

A slightly flippant question, but curious to see what my platonist rivals might have to say! One of the proported reasons that Open-AI was having business politics trouble was the suggestion that ...
Paul Ross's user avatar
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14 votes
7 answers
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What does "everything" mean?

For starter, I'm not a student in philosophy, but mathematics. I only have a general knowledge in logic and set theory, all in the context of mathematics. My question comes from a doubt I got while ...
Alessandro Nanto's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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The relationship between logical systems and natural language semantics

Every student of philosophy knows that there are systems of logic and that those systems are analyzed in terms of logical properties like soundness, consistency, decidability, completeness, etc. These ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
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3 answers
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Can I describe a non-existent object in the past tense?

Pegasus doesn't exist, and it has never existed. Pegasus was a non-existent animal. Pegasus was a horse. Pegasus killed the monstrous Chimaera. Can these statements be true? I want to ask this ...
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4 answers
119 views

Why do some philosphers including Russell paraphrase this sentence?

To say “Pegasus doesn’t exist” is to say “it is not the case that there is exactly one x which is a flying horse of Greek mythology”. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonexistent-objects/ “Pegasus ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is a non-existent apple not an apple? [duplicate]

If "an apple doesn't exist" means "not only an apple doesn't exist in reality, but also an apple doesn't exist in mind or anywhere", Is an apple, which doesn't exist, not an apple ...
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6 answers
5k views

Is "that nose is fake" nonsense?

As you know, a fake nose is not a nose. Why I think "that nose is fake" is nonsense is this: "That nose" supposes there's a nose, but "that nose which is fake" supposes ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can semantics work independently apart from philosophy? [closed]

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." It implies grammar can work independently apart from semantics. So I was thinking: "Can semantics work independently apart from philosophy."...
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1 vote
4 answers
357 views

Can we describe round square, which doesn't exist?

Definitely, a round square doesn't exist. Then, can we describe a round square? E.g. A round square isn't green. A round square is big. A round square is round. Can we meaningfully describe like this? ...
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2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Is there a couniversal solution to the predicate-theoretic version of Russell's paradox?

In set theory, let us call a solution to the problem of universal-sets-or-proper-classes a couniversal solution when it involves proposing the following: ∃U∀x((x ≠ U) ⟺ (x ∈ U)) This means that U is ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
406 views

Does a large language model show signs of an emergent awareness of semantics?

It is well established that computers have semantics of some sort. After posting the question Is non-deterministic automated reasoning a viable strategy for solving problems in mathematical logic? (...
J D's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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How far is this statement likely to be true, "the way what can be measured almost always takes precedence over what cannot"? [closed]

Excerpt from Rebecca Solnit's book 'Men Explain Things to Me': My friend Chip Ward speaks of “the tyranny of the quantifiable,” of the way what can be measured almost always takes precedence over ...
Nitin Sheokand's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

A position that claims meanings can't be abstract (but abstract objects still might exist)?

Is my titular question trivial, vacuous, encompasses every philosopher ever, none ever, or only encompasses a non-empty subset? I think there are different positions on it. If meanings aren't abstract,...
J Kusin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is disjunction pointless in intuitionistic logic?

Sec. 5.3 of the SEP article on constructive and intuitionistic set theories makes note of a property meant for theories that compromise on the LEM: A theory T has the disjunction property (DP) if ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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2 answers
59 views

How to understand "type-which-corresponds-to"?

In the comment on How do we define this?, user g s wrote a deleted comment indicating that things could be defined using "type-which-corresponds-to" (exact quote from memory). They followed ...
Quitting Due To Antisemitism's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
90 views

What does it mean "to provide semantics" in the context of formal logic?

When reading some SEP articles, this is a phrase I commonly came across, "this provides a semantics for this logic". But what does it mean?
tryst with freedom's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
124 views

Where is the line between semantics and ontology?

To be more specific, for a long time, it's seemed to me that a lot of open questions in philosophy, such as "What is consciousness?" or "What is truth?" come down, in large part, ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
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1 answer
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What logical differences are between "if" in conditional clauses and "provided that" in proviso clauses?

In Keller's Learn to Read Latin: The conjunction dum, sometimes strengthened by the adverb modo, "only", may introduce a subordinate clause stating a provision under which the event of the ...
Tim's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why is "Water is not H2O" False in all possible worlds?

I am reading Chalmers' "Two dimensional semantics" and "Two dimensional argument against materialism" and a point is unclear: As per Kripke (1980), "Water is not H2O" is ...
Tejas Bhojraj's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is my objection to naturalism popular or fringe in contemporary philosophy?

I have a line of thought that strict naturalism (in the most extreme case, the belief that only particle physics is an accurate description of reality) is self-defeating. I say this because notions ...
Noah Mancino's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
579 views

What is the difference between understanding and interpretation?

What is the difference in the cognitive processes of understanding and interpreting an utterance (especially written discourse like a legal statute)? What does a judge do when they interpret law; is ...
George Ntoulos's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is the statement "They like curry chicken." an objective or subjective statement?

I'm inclined to believe it's objective because isn't them liking curry chicken the case regardless of how anyone else feels about it?
Jayden's user avatar
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2 answers
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The limits on formal semantics: compositionality, context and truth values

I am a little bit surprised by the principle of composionality in semantics (I'm very new to all of this), which states that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its ...
DSP's user avatar
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2 votes
6 answers
292 views

Life and Death as one and the same?

Life-death, heavy–light, hot–cold and slow–fast are some of the most conventionalized pairs along the semantic dimensions of existence, weight, temperature and speed that require contextual motivation ...
ActualCry's user avatar
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0 answers
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For what theories of meaning are ambiguous referents problematic?

Suppose I am talking to an English friend of mine and I say, "Boston is in Massachusetts." Since I am referring to the American city, I consider this sentence to be true. My friend evaluates ...
quickhatch's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
105 views

Would a "disagreement operator" break down if iterated too much?

Let D(S) read as, "I disagree that S." It is possible to iterate this, so that DD(S), "I disagree that I disagree that S." Then we can go on to DDD(S), and so on. (For a peer-...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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0 answers
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Is anything known about the physical, neural, mental, and/or logical characteristics or conditions of “wanting”?

I do not mean the word “wanting” itself, since a word can refer to many things, or a spectrum of qualities that may or may not be seen a connected thing or not. If we try to identify a more clear ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
56 views

Nomenclature for AND-operation on boolean reasoning

I develop a computer program to summarize a boolean decision. This program takes into account operators AND and OR. For the OR-operator, I can call it alternative, since this is how grammar rules call ...
Bruno Lobo's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

What is an objective criterion for “specificity”?

I was trying to ask ChatGPT to be more “specific” and it made me wonder what an objective criterion for “specificity” is, given that I found it slightly hard to formulate. All I can say is that ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

Do all nouns denote, or only proper nouns?

By 'denote' I mean they are used specifically to denote objects, in almost all times they are used, for example most proper nouns like 'James' or 'Lithuania' or 'Paris'. Many common nouns are generic ...
Confused's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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Is an equal outcome necessary to differentiate between equity and equality?

Based on the answer provided here, it seems to me that when the word "equity" is used in relation to "equality," an equal outcome is necessary in order to differentiate between ...
OutwardThinking's user avatar

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