Topic: Philosophy/Philosophy of language

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πŸ”— Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

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The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (widely abbreviated and cited as TLP) is the only book-length philosophical work by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that was published during his lifetime. The project had a broad goal: to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science. Wittgenstein wrote the notes for the Tractatus while he was a soldier during World War I and completed it during a military leave in the summer of 1918. It was originally published in German in 1921 as Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung (Logical-Philosophical Treatise). In 1922 it was published together with an English translation and a Latin title, which was suggested by G. E. Moore as homage to Baruch Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670).

The Tractatus is written in an austere and succinct literary style, containing almost no arguments as such, but consists of altogether 525 declarative statements, which are hierarchically numbered.

The Tractatus is recognized by philosophers as one of the most significant philosophical works of the twentieth century and was influential chiefly amongst the logical positivist philosophers of the Vienna Circle, such as Rudolf Carnap and Friedrich Waismann and Bertrand Russell's article "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism".

Wittgenstein's later works, notably the posthumously published Philosophical Investigations, criticised many of his ideas in the Tractatus. There are, however, elements to see a common thread in Wittgenstein's thinking, in spite of those criticisms of the Tractatus in later writings. Indeed, the legendary contrast between β€˜early’ and β€˜late’ Wittgenstein has been countered by such scholars as Pears (1987) and Hilmy (1987). For example, a relevant, yet neglected aspect of continuity in Wittgenstein’s central issues concerns β€˜meaning’ as β€˜use’. Connecting his early and later writings on β€˜meaning as use’ is his appeal to direct consequences of a term or phrase, reflected e.g. in his speaking of language as a β€˜calculus’. These passages are rather crucial to Wittgenstein’s view of β€˜meaning as use’, though they have been widely neglected in scholarly literature. The centrality and importance of these passages are corroborated and augmented by renewed examination of Wittgenstein’s Nachlaß, as is done in "From Tractatus to Later Writings and Back - New Implications from the Nachlass" (de Queiroz 2023).

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πŸ”— Bullshit asymmetry principle

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Bullshit (also bullcrap) is a common English expletive which may be shortened to the euphemism bull or the initialism B.S. In British English, "bollocks" is a comparable expletive. It is mostly a slang term and a profanity which means "nonsense", especially as a rebuke in response to communication or actions viewed as deceptive, misleading, disingenuous, unfair or false. As with many expletives, the term can be used as an interjection, or as many other parts of speech, and can carry a wide variety of meanings. A person who communicates nonsense on a given subject may be referred to as a "bullshit artist".

In philosophy and psychology of cognition the term "bullshit" is sometimes used to specifically refer to statements produced without particular concern of truth, to distinguish from a deliberate, manipulative lie intended to subvert the truth.

While the word is generally used in a deprecatory sense, it may imply a measure of respect for language skills or frivolity, among various other benign usages. In philosophy, Harry Frankfurt, among others, analyzed the concept of bullshit as related to, but distinct from, lying.

As an exclamation, "Bullshit!" conveys a measure of dissatisfaction with something or someone, but this usage need not be a comment on the truth of the matter.

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πŸ”— The reason why Blub programmers have such a hard time picking up more powerful languages.

πŸ”— Philosophy πŸ”— Cognitive science πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of mind πŸ”— Neuroscience πŸ”— Philosophy/Philosophy of language πŸ”— Linguistics/Philosophy of language

The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, part of relativism, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis , or Whorfianism is a principle claiming that the structure of a language affects its speakers' world view or cognition, and thus people's perceptions are relative to their spoken language.

The principle is often defined in one of two versions: the strong hypothesis, which was held by some of the early linguists before World War II, and the weak hypothesis, mostly held by some of the modern linguists.

  • The strong version says that language determines thought and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories.
  • The weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions.

The principle had been accepted and then abandoned by linguists during the early 20th century following the changing perceptions of social acceptance for the other especially after World War II. The origin of formulated arguments against the acceptance of linguistic relativity are attributed to Noam Chomsky.

πŸ”— Colorless green ideas sleep furiously

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Colorless green ideas sleep furiously is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical. The sentence was originally used in his 1955 thesis The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory and in his 1956 paper "Three Models for the Description of Language". Although the sentence is grammatically correct, no obvious understandable meaning can be derived from it, and thus it demonstrates the distinction between syntax and semantics. As an example of a category mistake, it was used to show the inadequacy of certain probabilistic models of grammar, and the need for more structured models.

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πŸ”— Bertrand Russell

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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense." Russell was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G.Β E. Moore and protΓ©gΓ© Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics, the quintessential work of classical logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics.

Russell was a prominent anti-war activist and he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".

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