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58 votes
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Is "This sentence is written in English" nonsense?

"This sentence" is an indexical term. An indexical is a term like "I", "today", or "this city" where the reference of the term depends on the context of the ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
22 votes

Does the success of AI (Large Language Models) support Wittgenstein's position that "meaning is use"?

No. Wittgenstein would probably be the first to argue that the bare existence of a functioning Large Language Model does not by itself have any philosophical importance. The construction of an LLM is ...
transitionsynthesis's user avatar
14 votes

Is "This sentence is written in English" nonsense?

This sentence is written in english. Cette phrase est écrite en anglais. These are different sentences; they have different words to each other. An accurate translation of the first sentence into ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
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12 votes
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Do Wittgenstein and Quine give the same criticisms of semantics?

Yes and no. They both criticize a certain approach to semantic theory that can be called realism about meaning. Roughly, realists see meanings as some kind of entities, although there is a wide range ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why does Wittgenstein have a problem with writing “f(a, b). a = b"?

Because he reads a and b occurring in the atomic proposition f(a,b) (e.g. "a is to the left of b") as referring to two different objects. According to Wittgenstein, the only legitimate use ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
11 votes

The problem of philosophy?

Many difficulties encountered in philosophy are indeed related to the inherent imprecision of language. The problem is perhaps more fundamental than your examples suggest, since if it were just a ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
  • 22.6k
10 votes

Is Wittgenstein right when he criticises recursion theory in the Tractatus 3.333?

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 ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
10 votes
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What sentence convinced Russell that Wittgenstein was not a "complete idiot"?

Welcome TCP Russell doesn't so far as I'm aware tell us what the subject was of the 'something' he asked or invited Wittgenstein to write - perhaps he left the topic entirely to Wittenstein. Nor does ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
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10 votes
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Does the success of AI (Large Language Models) support Wittgenstein's position that "meaning is use"?

Yes, indeed: According to the post-Tractatus Wittgenstein, words are "meaning families"; the specific "meaning" of a word is determined by (or perhaps is) its use in context. ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes
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Where did Carnap express his disagreement with Wittgenstein's Tractatus?

The second OP quote (footnote about the mystical streak) refers to a meeting with Wittgenstein by Anscombe herself. For an account of Wittgenstein's relation to the Vienna circle philosophy see Stern'...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.3k
8 votes
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Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

Wittgenstein was reviving Kant's old view that logical deduction only brings out what is implicitly thought in the premises. Of course, Kant had in mind Aristotle's term logic, which is roughly ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.3k
8 votes

Wittgenstein and tautology

Strictly speaking, one may, of course, say of the standard metre rod that it is one metre long. But Wittgenstein's point is that this is quite a different statement from saying that my dog's tail is ...
Bumble's user avatar
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7 votes
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Did Frege criticize the style of the Tractatus?

Regarding the twenty-one cards and letters from Frege to Wittgenstein discovered in 1988 [None of the letters from Wittgenstein to Frege are thought to have survived the bombing of the Munster library ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
7 votes
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On Wittgenstein's family resemblance and machine learning

The answers to your questions are not going to be completely settled because they rely on specific theories of philosophy of language and language's relation to philosophy of mind. One very ...
Not_Here's user avatar
  • 2,921
7 votes

Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

As a matter of terminology, some logicians use 'tautology' as a synonym for a logical truth, while others restrict it to logical truths of the propositional calculus. I shall use the more general term ...
Bumble's user avatar
  • 26k
7 votes

The problem of philosophy?

Philosophy, most simply, means reasoning about things, and reasoning is distinct from linguistics. Linguistics merely has to do with defining terms. So, if we must resolve a problem by reasoning ...
yters's user avatar
  • 1,877
6 votes
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What did Wittgenstein (mean to) achieve in the Tractatus?

There is a heated controversy as to what Wittgenstein tried to achieve in the Tractatus and whether he achieved it. Wittgenstein's own retrospect of the book is rather ambivalent, see Kuusela's ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.3k
6 votes
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In Wittgenstein's Picture theory, why is self-awareness (e.g. Cogito ergo sum in Descartes) not an a priori true atomic thought?

The thing is, that for the early Wittgenstein the Cogito Ergo Sum was just not true. So the Cogito could not be true a priori for him. Like David Hume, Wittgenstein believed that the Cartesian Ego, ...
Ram Tobolski's user avatar
  • 7,411
6 votes
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Where does Bertrand Russell discuss mysticism?

From Russel's Mysticism and Logic Introduction Metaphysics has been developed, from the first, by the union and conflict of two very different human impulses, the one urging men towards mysticism, ...
Rushi's user avatar
  • 3,219
6 votes

Why was Russell discontent with Wittgenstein's view on "logic as tautologies"?

This scene seems to imply that Russell didn't view logic as tautologies. Correct. Wittgenstein's view about "logic=tautologies" was grounded on propositional logic and truth table. ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
6 votes
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Neo-liberalism, language and freedom?

This is a very well thought-out question. You invoke Noam Chomsky's contributions to the philosophy of mind with his proposals regarding innate properties which he puts forward in his ideas regarding ...
J D's user avatar
  • 27.5k
6 votes

The problem of philosophy?

There is a view propagated in analytical philosophy that most problems of philosophy result from linguistic carelessness – as stated in a pointed form by Wittgenstein: For philosophical problems ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 33k
5 votes
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What are the objections to Wittgenstein's argument that semantics and syntax are the same?

The most compelling argument against Wittgenstein's view is surely that given by Gödel in his famous theorems of Mathematical Logic. What Gödel proved was that mathematical truth cannot in principle ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 3,525
5 votes

On Wittgenstein's family resemblance and machine learning

They can easily separate two types of photos because they employ approaches explicitly inspired by our brain function, in other words they repeat, in a simplified form, what we originally did in ...
Conifold's user avatar
  • 43.3k
5 votes

Making 'sense' of Wittgenstein's senselessness / nonsense distinction in the Tractatus

See : 5.4733 Frege says: Every legitimately constructed proposition must have a sense. Thus, we may equate nonsense [unsinn] with an illegitimate grammatical combinations of words, something ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
5 votes

Can someone explain this Wittgenstein joke?

The quote comes from Littlewood's Miscellany. Edward Bardeau, in More Fallacies, Flaws, and Flimflam, gives the following account: The point is simply that, if we assume that an equation has a ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 3,525
5 votes

Is Ludwig Wittgenstein connected to post-structuralism?

In a very broad sense both Wittgenstein and post-structuralists might agree that 'the meaning of the language is determined by the cultural context'. But Wittgenstein's point (which I am not sure I ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.8k
5 votes

Are propositions of logic for the tractarian Wittgenstein "sinnlos satze"?

For the early Wittgenstein, logical propositions (tautologies/contradictions) are senseless, but not nonsense. He says this explicitly in the Tractatus: 4.461 Propositions show what they say: ...
E...'s user avatar
  • 6,556
5 votes

How did Wittgenstein become interested in the philosophy of language?

There were not "conversion" at all, but a progressive involvment with logic and language. For historical evidence, see e.g. Letter to B.Russell [Nov.1913], with refernce to Bedeutung [reference] (a ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
5 votes

What criticisms of Wittgenstein's philosophy of language have been offered?

Colin McGinn, in his book The Philosophy of Language, discusses at least four criticisms of Davidson's theory. Is it enough to say that knowledge of meaning is knowledge of truth conditions - ...
nwr's user avatar
  • 3,525

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