61

Natural languages do not depend in any fundamental way on our learning the meanings of words from dictionaries. No child I know learns to speak, read and understand meanings by memorising dictionary entries. For one thing, a child must know some rules of grammar even to see the point of a dictionary. For another, children learn words by associating sounds ...


33

Various candidates would be: self-referential sentences such as "This sentence is false." opinion-based sentences such as "Chocolate is the most delicious ice cream flavor." sentences where the truth value depends on the referents: "I am awake right now." (indexical) "The team went on to win the cup." (context) sentences with metaphor / poetry / nonsense:...


20

It's referring to the state, not the land or the people, so your example of a pear isn't really applicable. The preamble of the 1988 charter of Hamas (aka "the Islamic Resistance Movement") declares that "Islam will obliterate Israel." Hamas also officially promotes "the liberation of Palestine" and the raising of "the banner of Islam over every inch of ...


16

The OP asks the following: Can I write or utter any sentence which is neither false nor true? Yes. An example would be Tomorrow I will rise at precisely 6 am. That sentence today is neither true nor false. However, I will know tomorrow, but by then I will have a different sentence, perhaps: Today I rose at 6:30. That sentence could be viewed as either true ...


13

Sarcasm is one of the troublesome linguistic phenomena living in a contested no man's land between semantics (the study of language-internal meaning) and pragmatics (the study of meaning in context). It's thus debated whether the sarcasm in an utterance affects its logical form, and consequently whatever truth tables it has, or whether sarcasm triggers ...


13

The fact that a dictionary defines each word as a loop that includes other words doesn't mean there is no information present in the dictionary. The information about all the words together is encoded in a mangled form, namely in the structure of this network of relations and loops. If an alien civilization received an English dictionary, there's a good ...


12

Couldn't anybody find some reasons for proving/disproving it? I think it is "dissolved" and not "unsolved". Radical skepticism with regard to the possibility of ultimate philosophical grounding is based on an abstractive fallacy. It is somewhat misleading coherence to present the radical skeptic position in terms of an argument, because in presenting an ...


12

Your proposed solution does not solve the paradox. The whole point of the paradox is that the term 'pile' is vague. That is, given an object (e.g. a collection of grains of sand) it is indeterminate whether the term applies to this object or not. It is indeterminate since it's not clear just how many grains constitute a heap (for any number n, you can ...


12

Is every sentence we write or utter either true or false? NO. A sentence is "a textual unit consisting of one or more words that are grammatically linked. [... The] words [are] grouped meaningfully to express a statement, question, exclamation, request, command or suggestion. A question is neither true nor false.


11

Modern philosophy of language actually says a fair bit about this. (I've seen this example, and ones like it, in a number of philosophy articles. I'll give some references at the bottom.) First, I'll argue that Lincoln is right. Then I'll say some stuff about the use/mention distinction, which is a central concept in the philosophy of language, and is key to ...


11

Your concern is sound ... In Aristotle's Logic the inference from : ∀x (Fx → Gx) to : ∃x (Fx & Gx) is legitimate. In modern logic, this is not; we say that general terms have existential import. See the discussion of The Traditional Square of Opposition : This representation of the four forms is now generally accepted, except for qualms ...


11

I think that the second half of the given Wikipedia passage is just confused. First, the concept of recursion belongs to algorithm theory, and is unhelpful here. Recursion, unlike what is written, is not nonsensical. Second, it should have been "x = life" rather then "x = the meaning of life". Then the argument becomes: if we accept that 'the meaning of x' ...


11

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 ...


11

The reason Israel demands that the Palestinians recognize Israel's so-called "right to exist" is that in so doing, they would officially relinquish any and all claims they have on the land they owned before Israel was founded and from which they were evicted by the Israelis in 1948. They naturally refuse to relinquish those claims because to do so means ...


10

Kripke hesitates a little bit when it comes to fictional entities. The issue partially boils down to the following question: "Could fictional entities like Sherlock Holmes and Mickey Mouse exist?" On the one hand, you might think "Yeah, of course! Sherlock Holmes isn't contradictory or anything; surely there's a possible world where he could have existed." ...


10

1 Let's start with a simpler case first. While it is true that the statement (a) "I am moving" is true at some points in time and false at others, it doesn't mean that given any point t in time we have: (b) "I am moving at time t " ∧ "I am not moving at time t ". Given any time t, either you are moving at time t or you are not. The fact that ...


10

It is not a criticism of recursion theory and recursive definitions [by the way, recursion theory originated in the 1930s while the Tractatus was written during the first world war and was first published in German in 1921. And also, in 1921 Kurt Gödel was only fifteen years old: he published his doctoral dissertation, where he established the completeness ...


9

I generally take characters on shows to be a different instance of the same person, that is, the name doesn't matter, but in the context of the show the actor is that same actor but in the context of the parallel universe developed for the show. Let's use object orientated because that is freakishly easy notation for this problem. (Consensus Reality).(Wil ...


9

What is true of words denoting one sort of concept is not always true of words denoting other sorts of concepts, even if they are generally considered to have the same 'part of speech'. For instance, the progressive is X-ing construction sounds just fine when used with some verbs (John is running, Kate is writing), but odd, if not downright ungrammatical, ...


9

You are right that reading means interpreting, and we can never be sure that we did not misinterpret the author's intentions. But it is as with any human endeavor, we are fallible. The principle of charity only asks that we take the author's perspective seriously and in good faith. Seriousness includes researching historical and cultural background of the ...


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 ...


9

This is all about the difference between natural language and formal language. In formal language, a term cannot be used unless it's well-defined according to the standards of the language. In natural language, on the other hand, well-defined terms are the exception rather than the rule. The Sorites paradox forces us to us to recognize that a term like "...


9

Many linguists including Chomsky I believe have studied languages up to the point of realizing that there are no set rules as to how languages develop. They just do. It's technocratic and overly formal philosophical view to think that natural language is structured like formal languages. Formal languages can model natural language, but it doesn't mean that ...


8

The question is based on a common misunderstanding of Derrida's work-- one he addresses repeatedly. For example, in "Toward an Ethics of Discussion", he writes: "[L]et it be said in passing how surprised I have often been, how amused or discouraged, depending on my humor, by the user or abuse of the following argument: Since the deconstructionist (which ...


8

This probably has to do with the so-called "linguistic turn": during the 20th century it has been considered (Wittgenstein, logical empiricists, ...) that the role of philosophy is not answering big questions, but only clarifying what we mean, analysing our language, in contrast with science whose role is to test our claims empirically. That was the ...


8

Your view is similar to that of late Wittgenstein, after the so-called "linguistic turn". In Philosophical Investigations published in 1953 he writes “For a large class of cases of the employment of the word ‘meaning’—though not for all—this can be explained in this way: the meaning of a word is its use in the language”. He describes linguistic activity as a ...


8

There are philosophers that hail Wittgenstein as the greatest of the greats. There are also philosophers that do not. Just like in most areas of philosophy there is disagreement. In the Tractatus 6.54 he states My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, ...


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