Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Language, philosophy: language is a set of phonetic or written coded forms fixed at a time for the exchange of information or distinctions within a community whose members are able to recognize and interpret these forms as signs or symbols. In a wider sense, language is also a sign system, which can be processed by machines. See also communication, language rules, meaning, meaning change, information, signs, symbols, words, sentences, syntax, semantics, grammar, pragmatics, translation, interpretation, radical interpretation, indeterminacy.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

W.V.O. Quine on Language - Dictionary of Arguments

X 134
Language/Carnap/Quine: the language is presented as a deductive system Carnap - 1. Formation rules: Deliver the grammar and the lexicon so that they deliver the well formed formulas - 2. Transformation rules: these provide logical truths (including the mathematical, generally the analytical truths).
>Logical Truth/Quine
- - -
VI 17
Ontology/Language/Quine: as far as the assumption of a scientific theory can be called a linguistic matter, the assumption of an ontology can also be called a linguistic matter - but not more than this.
VI 63
Language/Observation/Translation/Quine: most of our utterances are not correlated with stimuli at all, e.g. connectives etc.
VI 64
The linguist can create an archive of uninterpreted sentences and dissect them. Recurring segments can be treated as words. (Analytical hypothesis).
VI 65
Ultimately, we depend on very poor data material.
We can expect successive statements to have something to do with each other.
Later, the translator will be dependent on psychological hypotheses. What will the jungle inhabitants most likely believe to be true? What will they probably believe?
VI 66
In this case, preference is given to recognizably rational translations.
But to establish an alleged grammar and semantics of the natives would be nothing more than bad psychology. Instead one should assume that the psyche of the natives is largely like ours.
VI 67
When the linguist discovers an error, he will wonder how far back it goes.
VI 105
Language/QuineVsMentalism: The prerequisite of language is that people perceive that others perceive something. This, however, is the seduction to overstretch the mentalistic way of speaking.
- - -
VII (b) 26
Definition/Quine: can serve two opposite purposes:
1. abbreviation and practical representation (short notation)
2. reverse: redundancy in grammar and vocabulary.
Economical vocabulary leads to longer strings.
Conversely, economical vocabulary simplifies the theoretical discourse about a language.
Language/Quine: by habit these two types are fused together, one as part of the other:
External language: is redundant in grammar and vocabulary and economical in terms of the length of strings.
Partial language "primitive notation": is economical in grammar and vocabulary.
VII (b) 27
Part and whole are connected by translation rules. We call these definitions. They are not assigned to one of the two languages, but connect them.
But they are not arbitrary. They should show how primitive notations can serve all purposes.
- - -
VII (d) 61
Language/Translation/Whorf/Cassirer/Quine: you cannot separate the language from the rest of the world. Differences in language will correspond to differences in life form.
Therefore, it is not at all clear how to assume that words and syntax change from language to language while the content remains fixed.
VII (d) 77
Introduction/Language/General Term/Quine: the use of general terms has probably arisen in the course of language development because similar stimuli cause similar reactions.
Language would be impossible without general terms.
In order to understand them, one must recognize the additional operator "class of" or "-ness" when introducing them. Failure to do so was probably the reason for accepting abstract entities.
>General Terms/Quine.
VII (d) 78
Science/Language/Quine: how much of our science is actually contributed by language, and how much is an original (real) reflection of reality?
To answer this, we have to talk about both the world and the language! ((s) And that is already the answer!)
Quine: and in order to talk about the world, we have to presuppose a certain conceptual scheme that belongs to our particular language.
Conceptual Scheme/Quine: we were born into it, but we can change it bit by bit, like Neurath's ship.
VII (d) 79
Language/Quine: its purpose is efficiency in communication and prediction.
Elegance is even added as an end in itself.
X 34/35
Truth/Language/Quine: Truth depends on language, because it is possible that sounds or characters in one language are equivalent to "2 < 5" and in another to "2 > 5".
When meaning changes over many years within a language, we think that they are two different languages.
Because of this relativity, it makes sense to attribute a truth value only to tokens of sentences.
Truth/World/Quine: the desire for an extra-linguistic basis for truth arises only if one ignores the fact that the truth predicate has precisely the purpose of linking the mention of linguistic forms with the interest in the objective world.
- - -
X 42
Immanent/Language/Quine: are immanent in language: educational rules, grammatical categories, the concept of the word, or technically: the morpheme.
ad X 62
Object language/meta language/mention/use/(s): the object language is mentioned (spoken about), the meta language is used to speak about the object language.
X 87
Language/Grammar/Quine: the same language - the same infinite set of sentences can be created with different educational rules from different lexicons.
Therefore, the concept (definition) of logical truth is not transcendent, but (language) immanent. (logical truth: is always related to a certain language, because of grammatical structure).
>Logical Truth/Quine.
Dependence on language and its grammatization.
- - -
XI 114
Theory/Language/Quine/Lauener: we do not have to have an interpreted language in order to formulate a theory afterwards.
This is the rejection of the isolated content of theoretical sentences.
Language/Syntax/Lauener: Language cannot be considered purely syntactically as the set of all correctly formed expressions, because an uninterpreted system is a mere formalism. ((s) Such a system is not truthful).
XI 115
Language/Theory/ChomskyVsQuine/Lauener: a person's language and theory are different systems in any case, even if you would agree with Quine otherwise.
XI 116
Quine: (ditto).
Uncertainty of translation: because of it one cannot speak of a theory invariant to translations.
Nor can one say that an absolute theory can be formulated in different languages, or conversely that different (even contradictory) theories can be expressed in one language.
((s) Because of the ontological statement that I cannot argue about ontology by telling the other that the things that exist in it do not exist in me, because then I contradict myself that there are things that do not exist).
Lauener: that would correspond to the fallacy that language contributes to the syntax but theory to the empirical content.
Language/Theory/Quine/Lauener: i.e. not that there is no contradiction between the two at all: insofar as two different theories are laid down in the same language, this means that the expressions are not interchangeable in all expressions.
But there are also contexts where the distinction between language and theory has no meaning. Therefore, the difference is gradual. The contexts where language and theory are interchangeable are those where Quine speaks of a network.
- - -
V 32
Def Language/Quine: is a "complex of dispositions to linguistic behaviour".
V 59
Language/Quine: ideas may be one way or the other, but words are out there where you can see and hear them.
Nominalism/Quine: turns away from ideas and towards words.
Language/QuineVsLocke: does not serve to transmit ideas! (> NominalismVsLocke).
Quine: it is probably true that when we learn a language we learn how to connect words with the same ideas (if you accept ideas). Problem: how do you know that these ideas are the same?
V 89
Composition/language/animal/animal language/Quine: animals lack the ability to assemble expressions.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Quine I
W.V.O. Quine
Word and Object, Cambridge/MA 1960
German Edition:
Wort und Gegenstand Stuttgart 1980

Quine II
W.V.O. Quine
Theories and Things, Cambridge/MA 1986
German Edition:
Theorien und Dinge Frankfurt 1985

Quine III
W.V.O. Quine
Methods of Logic, 4th edition Cambridge/MA 1982
German Edition:
Grundzüge der Logik Frankfurt 1978

Quine V
W.V.O. Quine
The Roots of Reference, La Salle/Illinois 1974
German Edition:
Die Wurzeln der Referenz Frankfurt 1989

Quine VI
W.V.O. Quine
Pursuit of Truth, Cambridge/MA 1992
German Edition:
Unterwegs zur Wahrheit Paderborn 1995

Quine VII
W.V.O. Quine
From a logical point of view Cambridge, Mass. 1953

Quine VII (a)
W. V. A. Quine
On what there is
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (b)
W. V. A. Quine
Two dogmas of empiricism
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (c)
W. V. A. Quine
The problem of meaning in linguistics
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (d)
W. V. A. Quine
Identity, ostension and hypostasis
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (e)
W. V. A. Quine
New foundations for mathematical logic
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (f)
W. V. A. Quine
Logic and the reification of universals
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (g)
W. V. A. Quine
Notes on the theory of reference
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (h)
W. V. A. Quine
Reference and modality
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (i)
W. V. A. Quine
Meaning and existential inference
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VIII
W.V.O. Quine
Designation and Existence, in: The Journal of Philosophy 36 (1939)
German Edition:
Bezeichnung und Referenz
Zur Philosophie der idealen Sprache, J. Sinnreich (Hg), München 1982

Quine IX
W.V.O. Quine
Set Theory and its Logic, Cambridge/MA 1963
German Edition:
Mengenlehre und ihre Logik Wiesbaden 1967

Quine X
W.V.O. Quine
The Philosophy of Logic, Cambridge/MA 1970, 1986
German Edition:
Philosophie der Logik Bamberg 2005

Quine XII
W.V.O. Quine
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, New York 1969
German Edition:
Ontologische Relativität Frankfurt 2003

Quine XIII
Willard Van Orman Quine
Quiddities Cambridge/London 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-04-21
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