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13

Wittgenstein in his intermediate period provided a response, before the age of AI research and Searle's objections. In a nutshell: semantics is another syntax. Words only mean as role players in a linguistic calculus, and their meaning reduces to the collection of rules governing their use in the calculus. Of course, he was thinking of mathematics and ...


10

It is more than that. Even if we take the Galileo's metaphor literally, he is suggesting that there is a language of mathematics, specifically geometry, not that mathematics, as such, is a language: "Philosophy is written in this grand book — I mean the universe — which stands continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be understood unless one first ...


9

why can't all words mean an exact thing? The most concise answer you are going to find is in Section 293: the famous "beetle in a box" thought experiment. If I say of myself that it is only from my own case that I know what the word "pain" means - must I not say the same of other people too? And how can I generalize the one case so irresponsibly? ...


9

The answer is straightforward in the context of Chomsky's universal grammar, which music does not fit. However, the innate grammar structures postulated by Chomsky were not as universally encountered outside of the major European and Oriental languages, and the conception has little purchase with modern linguists, see Does majority of linguists accept ...


8

Heidegger famously argued for precisely this. He points out that the Greek word for truth, ἀλήθεια (Aletheia), grammatically relies upon the use of a privative; it literally means unconcealedness (with the privative use of "un-".)


8

No. Lying implies an intent to deceive. To speak a falsehood is not necessarily to lie. As for the truth-status of the statement, it's not at all paradoxical; it's just temporally bound.


7

I think your evaluation of the problem is accurate: depending on the theory being used, "the oldest man in the world" can or cannot die. The descriptive theory says in short that meaning of a name is effectively identical to the descriptions people associate with them. For example, "the person typing out this answer" and "the person looking at this monitor" ...


7

I think it is very insightful of you to want to learn to be a better critical thinker. That action in and of itself makes me think you are already more of a critical thinker than many others -- as merely a freshman you are carefully thinking about and planning what will best help you in the future. Not the Answer You're Looking For Unfortunately, philosophy ...


7

As pointed out in the comments, in linguistics and science circles there is a name for view you advocate in your post: the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. I don't think there is much evidence for the strongest forms of the hypothesis, but there is definitely some cool science around it. I will give my favourite example. Physics does not have colour, it just has a ...


7

Isn't an epiphenomenon a thing? Is it really useful to say that--forgive the overly-used example--"air pressure doesn't exist" because it is an epiphenomenon of the statistical properties of air molecules? Indeed, if you follow this sort of logic to its most reductionistic extremes, you start to conclude that nothing is a thing except for those very most ...


7

In the context of the linked interview, both Chomsky and his interviewer have an understanding of the term "language" that excludes music from it. To put it as a syllogism: (P) All language activities involve the use of words, whether those words are expressed externally (spoken/written) or internally (your internal monologue). (P) Music composition does ...


7

A prerequisite for your question is the question "is what the neural networks do really 'thinking?'" Obviously this question is contentious even still (although each year more and more researchers seem to think "yes"), with Searle's Chinese room argument being the canonical objection. It seems that if the status of AI, specifically neural networks, as ...


6

Interesting question :) but lies and concealment have to be lying about and concealing something, no? Once all the lying and concealing has being eradicated, there is still the object of the lying and concealing, viz. the truth. For example, it is true that "Greek word for truth is ἀλήθεια". Is that truth defined merely by the absence of anyone lying ...


6

Chomsky was famously called out by Dennett in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, who saw “signs of Chomsky’s agnosticism — or even antagonism — towards Darwinism”, and added that "if Darwin dreaders want a champion who is himself deeply and influentially enmeshed within science, they could do no better than Chomsky". This is over the top, but some Chomsky's comments ...


6

The philosophical concept you're looking for is foundationalism; it hasn't always been neccessary - after all arithmetic was done and number theory pursued for two Millenia before a foundational movement took hold. There are other foundations of mathematics; one that is growing in importance is based on category theory. Philosophy has pretty much ...


6

Saussure is playing with two traditional dicotomies : the aristotelian : form/matter (their union is the substance) and the "(traditional) linguistic : form/content. See CLG, Ch.4: [ page 156 ] La langue comme pensée organisée dans la matière phonique. The langue is a "structured" whole, that organizes the thought (pensée, idées) as well as the sound (...


5

Not entirely sure what you mean by "linguistic philosophical distinction" nor am I completely clear on the origins, though a few websites do seem to validate sourcing it to H.H. Price. I am going to assume that "faith-in" and "faith-that" are used synonymously to the pair you mention. The difference in philosophy of religion and in discussions about faith ...


4

The timing of the statement is not paradoxical at all. If you state truthfully that someone doesn't know something, then you haven't lied in uttering that statement. The fact that the target of your statement will then know what they didn't previously cannot undo the truth that was uttered in the past. If you repeat the statement however, then you would be ...


4

Has any philosopher said that language gives us consciousness by allowing us to communicate with ourselves and therefore giving us choices that we did not have before? Not that I am aware of; Wittgenstein's private language argument shows why the notion of a purely internal "language" doesn't make sense. And on the other hand, what has been said to ...


4

I'm not aware of a formal definition of proposition, and the issue is highly contentious, but one way to think about them is as follows. Take a sentence like "Clarissa is a fish". You can believe this, as in the sentence, "I believe Clarissa is a fish". You can hope it: "I hope Clarissa is a fish." You can doubt it: "I doubt Clarissa is a fish". These are ...


4

The short answer is no, Chomsky doesn't reject evolution; the longer answer goes like this: Chomsky is arguing that it doesn't give sufficient insight into the nature of a 'natural organ of language', the existence of which has been won, as admitted by Dennett in this review of his book by the biologist Maynard Smith, who also agrees with Dennett on this. ...


3

Truth, according to some modern philosophers (such as Karl Popper), would indicate no more or less than the absence of error or inaccuracy of a statement as compared to the real world. Following a popular essay by Isaac Asimov, The Relativity of Wrong, it follows that one may even speak of an idea A being more true than another idea B, without meaning to ...


3

There is a big jump from "is the absence of something" to "doesn't exist." I think most of the responses here, taken from the English stackexchange, were more focused on the language of it than the logic of it. For example, @chaos, You can take a body of information, eliminate all lies and be left with nothing, rather than truth. That is precisely what ...


3

One minor complication, is "the oldest man in the world" a name or a description? It reads to me like a description. In that case the question becomes whether descriptions can be rigid designators. Kripke, in arguing against the descriptive theory of names in Naming and Necessity held that descriptions couldn't rigidly designate. That was one of his ...


3

I highly recommend taking philosophy courses --I entered college planning on majoring in engineering, and left as a philosophy major. Please be aware, however, that philosophy courses vary widely based on the teacher and the school (because there is no universal consensus on which philosophical approaches are correct and important). With that in mind, you ...


3

A is probably B B is X Therefore, A must be X Is deductively invalid, so it would fall under the general fallacy type of invalid argument (assuming that it is presented as a deductive argument). As an inductive argument, the "must" would make it fallacious on the grounds that the conclusion is not supported by the premises. However, I don't think anyone ...


3

I would add to Mozibur's answer that several of the historically notable philosophers have tried to build complete philosophical systems from the ground up. Look at Kant and early Wittgenstein as examples. Indeed one could argue that attempts to build mathematics from the ground up the way Russell and Whitehead did was inspired partially by the philosophical ...


3

Lacan's views are based on Roman Jakobson's analysis of language: “Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances”, page 49-on. According to Jakobson: Speech implies a selection of certain linguistic entities and their combination into linguistic units of a higher degree of complexity. At the lexical level this is readily apparent: the ...


3

According to Psychology Today Music is a universal language. Or so musicians like to claim.... [But is it?] That depends on what you mean by “universal” and what you mean by “language.” Every human culture has music, just as each has language. So it’s true that music is a universal feature of the human experience. At the same time, both music and ...


3

I haven't read Kripke's Naming & Neccessity, however the linked article quotes Wittgenstein from his Philosophical Investigations: There is one thing of which one can say neither that it is a metre, and nor that it is not a metre - and that is the standard metre kept in Paris. But this of course is not to ascribe some extraordinary property to it, but ...


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