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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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Is there a natural example of a non-self-referential semantic paradox in philosophy?

A commonly studied paradox is the liar's paradox. The liar's paradox is to determine whether "this statement is false". The usual resolution is to state this the sentence is not actually a statement ...
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Is there overlap between semantics and syntax in the mind?

Please don't give me the Wikipedia or dictionary explanations, we're looking at mutual influence. In computer science the primitive expression of syntax would be as the format for instructions to the ...
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Is there anything wrong with this argument?

The Constitution of the Russian Federation says, in Chapter 1, Article 1: The Russian Federation - Russia is a democratic federal law-bound State with a republican form of government. The ...
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What is the difference between object, concept and Gestalt?

Within the context of philosophical writings (i.e. not psychology), what is the difference and relations of the following terms: Begriff Gegenstand Gestalt For example as used by Frege ("Ueber ...
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Can possible-but-non-actual objects have accidental properties?

The modal logic I am considering is the "Simplest Quantified Modal Logic" which combines first-order predicate logic with identity, with S5 in the most straightforward way, described here and slightly ...
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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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Differences and similarities between Kuhn and Quine about the indeterminacy of translation

About Thomas Kuhn's semantic incommensurability: Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are ...
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Understanding hypothetical reasoning and material implication

I am a little bit frustrated in how we use hypothetical reasoning in everyday life. Many times we make "if-then" statements. For example, if i get ill ,then i cant go to work and if i cant go to work ,...
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What is the difference between a conditional and material implication?

Can someone help me understand the difference between a conditional and a material implication? Both of them have the "same" (if-then) structure. For example, "if x=2, then x^2=4". Is this a ...
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In which sense Quine denies that the translated expressions do have a meaning?

Early on Kuhn drew a parallel with Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation (1970a, 202; 1970c, 268). According to the latter, if we are translating one language into another, there are ...
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Propositional content and reference

My main question is this: Let p be a sentence. Can I have the proposition expressed by p be the same even if the referent of p is different? So as an example I'm thinking of stuff like: p = 'My ...
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Is a barber a barber if he doesn't get paid?

For reference: The Barber Paradox. The Barber is he who shaves all those, and only those, who doesn't shave themselves. Now the question is: Who shaves the Barber? The paradox being that if ...
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Is Kuhn referring to Quine's holism while developing his later Semantic Incommensurability Thesis?

Kuhn's view as expressed in the passage quoted above depends upon meaning holism—the claim that the meanings of terms are interrelated in such a way that changing the meaning of one term results in ...
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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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I know that I know that I know

If it's true that "I know it's raining", is it necessarily also true that "I know that I know it's raining" and "I know that I know that I know..."? P.S. A similar example is "I try to try to try to ...
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Is it correct to afirm that philosophy had no begining? [closed]

According to wikipedia: Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom"1[2][3][4]) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as ...
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Role of definitions in analytic–synthetic distinction

A: All bachelors are unmarried B: Water is liquid We all agree that A is analytic. To prove its truth, we only need to replace "bachelor" with its definition. The proposition B can be controversial,...
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The difference between indicative conditional and counterfactual

I was confused about the difference between indicative conditionals and counterfactuals. Could someone please offer an elaboration?
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Semantics - If a being does not have its definition

If a being does not have its definition, then it can also have its definition, then it would be different from itself. Are there two beings here? In order to be different, they must be different ...
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Who (name of the science) researches meaning communicated through arts?

John I. Saeed in his famous textbook defines the Semantic as "Semantics is the study of meaning communicated through language". So - what is name for the science that researches meaning as ...
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What is put on what (the mayo or the eggs) and why?

What are some branches of philosophy that could be used to analyze the question "did I put mayo on my eggs, or eggs on my mayo?" I understand that the question itself is very weak, but I am just ...
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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 ...
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What is the philosophical notion of “intelligibility”?

Can you please point me to philosophical discussions of intelligibility or of what counts as intelligible? — or to an accepted intelligible view of intelligibility, if there is such a thing (pun ...
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Truth that requires two possible worlds not causally linked

There is a clear example I have in mind of a modal transformer. The primary winding is in possible world, W1. The secondary winding is in possible world, W2. W1 and W2 are not causally linked in any ...
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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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Can you Define Something in Terms of What is True About it?

Is it possible to define something in terms of what is true about it? Suppose for example, the case where in mathematics a definition is given in terms of formal symbols and rules for which strings ...
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Are there terms for being “inside” vs “outside” an argument?

Say that Jim successfully argues that A implies B. He then establishes that A is true, and therefore B is true. Then say that Bob comes along and says, "Well, what about K?" Meaning, that he believes ...
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Are here (in *semiotics*) technical terms for, and treatments in philosophy of, the use of “transparent” symbols in *monochrome* communication? [closed]

Questions. (0) Is there (especially in the Semiotics literature) a technical term for, and are there technical philosophical writings on, the use of "transparent" symbols to convey meaning in ...
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Particular concepts in integrated information theory

Recently I have been reading about the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness, and have been impressed by its intuitiveness, relative simplicity, explanatory power, and falsifiability. All ...
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Can something be both objective and subjective to me at the same time?

Many of us understand subjectivity as the opposite of objectivity; that they are mutually exclusive concepts. Evidence for that is all around; for example, take Wiktionary: subjective (adj.): ...
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Does something permanent really need to accompany private sensations in Wittgenstein's Private Language Argument?

Ludwig Wittgenstein discusses at length the argument against the coherence of a private language throughout his published works. My question is, are there any objections to the argument that work ...
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What is the explanatory power of Possible World Semantics?

What kind of problems is PWS particularly suited that e.g. FOL couldn't address? I'm just wondering when is a good time to use PWS and for what kinds of questions. Thanks!
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Are “All A is B” and “If A then B” always logically equivalent?

Will "All A is B" always imply "If A then B?" If so, can we say that the following follows the form of Modus Ponens? All dogs are mammals. Toby is a dog. So, Toby is a mammal. Can I rewrite ...
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Are semantic inferences between undecidable sentences in a system possible?

For example from the Gödel sentence "G iff ¬P([g])", where g is G's Gödel-number, is it possible to make semantic inference (not syntactic, only at the level of truth between the undecidable sentences ...
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Variables in semantically equivalent propositions (prop. logic)

I'm just beginning to study propositional logic myself in advance of a course I'm going to be taking on it, and I'm slightly confused by the notion of semantic equivalency (the double turnstile). What ...
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What makes something relevant to an argument, and how can one assess relevance?

Are there any books that examine questions about relevance in general like the following? Relevance Theory seems something else and inapplicable. What makes something (ir)relevant to an argument or ...
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Gender roles - do they matter?

This may well be too broad (spreading over into psychology too), I'll try to narrow it down as I outline my thinking but any advice is welcome. I began by thinking about how its unfair if you ...
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Should I use “philosophy” as a noun to describe my world view? [closed]

I do this often. I use the word "philosophy" to indicate I am talking about the way I think. I use it to indicate my own personal beliefs and conclusions about the world. It is in a sense a disclaimer ...
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What is the relationship between the BHK interpretation of propositional logic and Natural Deduction?

This is a repost from MathSE. I've been getting into intuitionistic logic lately, starting from propositional logic. I am interested in proof-theoretic semantics, meaning the idea that the truth of ...
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Does semantic externalism imply modal realism?

Semantic externalism, or more broadly externalism about mental content, is the idea that propositions, intentions, attitudes, etc. derive their meaning from the external world as opposed to internally ...
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Is consciousness information?

In living organisms with a brain, consciousness arises from the way neurons are interconnected with each other, hence, an arrangement. Just like an arrangement of particles in the universe consist of ...
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What are the main theories about divided consciousness?

I've found several different articles which compile interpretations of an actual possibility of brain dissection where both hemispheres continue working, and, where both still closely relate, but I'm ...
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What does the order of nested quantifiers in predicate logic express?

I was looking at this short and helpful slideshow But it's early: in general, what does the ordering of quantifiers translate to?
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Are these logical arguments against the existence of a god? [closed]

Consider the two following observations... Observation 1 Randomly assigned individuals to watching a movie about death or a random movie about a very neutral subject. At the end of the movie, ask ...
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What is the relation between Sense/Denotation and Intension/Extension

Some people seem to use the words Sense and Intension (but also Denotation and Extension) without any distinction. Are Sense and Denotation the same thing ? If not, how are they related ? As I ...
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Are artificially synthesized chemical elements natural?

Humans have synthesized elements that do not exist in nature, at least not around here. This strikes me as a serious philosophical hairball: where does a philosophical naturalist put these critters? ...
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Are anti-realists faced with a point where they have to take for granted the referential function of words to things that are not words?

Pragmatism is strongly associated with anti-realism, the view that words are meaningful not because they represent a reality independent of the word itself but because of how they are used in a given ...
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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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Is mathematics a language?

Galileo gave the metaphor that the natural world is written in the language of mathematics, but is mathematics even a language?
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What is “compositionality” of meaning and why is it syntax rather than semantics?

I don't understand why "compositionality" of meaning belongs to syntax, and isn't a clearly semantic issue (if I understand it at all. Maybe you could give me an example). Here is a quote from Steven ...