Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Question: a sentence within a communication context that requires one or more further sentences (see also answers). The question in many languages is characterized by a slightly altered word position, as opposed to the corresponding sentence, as well as an attached or pre-set symbol (question symbol). A response is not guaranteed and does not have to be done so that a question retains its form and content. See also statements, commands, sentences, speech act theory.

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

Jaakko Hintikka on Questions - Dictionary of Arguments

Question/answer/Hintikka: the key to a theory of questions and answers lies in the relation of a question to its exhaustive answer.
Epistemic Logic: epistemic logic provides the solution.
>Epistemic logic.
II 18
Questions/answers/Hintikka: the most important application of epistemic logic is a theory of question and answer. E.g.:
(1.1) Who lives here?
Is constructed as:
(1.2) Make that I know who lives here.
II 19
Answer/Hintikka: problem: when does a reply d on a W-question fulfill its purpose? Of course, if it makes the desideratum:
(1.3) "I know who lives here" true.
But what does the answer "d" do? Obviously:
(1.4) I know d lives here.
Answer/Hintikka: the problem is when (1.4.) implies (1.3).
Logical Form: the logical form of (1.3) and (1.4) is
(1.5) (Ex) {I} K (x lives here)
(1.6) {I} K (d lives here).
Epistemic Logic/response/quantifier/operator/Hintikka: that is, the operational problem is when (1.6) implies (1.5). It is about the interplay of quantifiers and epistemic operators.
II 19
Knowledge/w-questions/knowing/Hintikka: the right treatment is ensured by a series of steps.
II 20
Cross-World Identity/Hintikka: cross-world identity must be assumed as solved, so that we can use our quantifiers.
>Cross world identity.
World Line/Hintikka: world lines should connect the counterparts of an individual in different worlds.
>World lines.
If we have a web of world lines (in relation to a subject of knowledge), we have truth conditions for quantified sentences in an epistemic logic of the 1st level.
Truths Conditions: the truth conditions solve Quine's problem here ((s) of the cross-world identity) or transform them into problems how the world lines are to be drawn.
Individual Area/individual/existence/possible worlds/Hintikka: it cannot be assumed that the same individuals exist in all models.
When we speak of z as an element of the actual world, we must assume that it exists in this world, so that it has a bona fide value of the quantifiers, which also applies, among others, in the actual world.
II 98
W-questions/who/what/where/Hintikka: thesis: w-questions are nothing but quantified phrases.
II 99
Logical Form:
(1) John knows who the Prime Minister of Norway is.
As a that-construction:
(2) (Ex) John knows that (the Prime Minister of Norway = x) (= de dicto).
Problem: you have to specify the domain of the individual that the variable "x" passes ((s) quotation marks from Hintikka).
II 102
W-Questions/non-existence/Hintikka: variant: problem:
(7) John knows that Homer did not exist.
That is, in any epistemically possible world of John, Homer does not exist. This implies that it makes sense to ask for existence.
Uniqueness/existence/Hintikka: i.e. we must distinguish between the existence and the uniqueness (determinateness) of an individual.
Non-existence/Hintikka: non-existence does not make the identity of the individual unknown.

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.

Hintikka I
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
Investigating Wittgenstein
German Edition:
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

Hintikka II
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-03-24
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