PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

  1. What is the ‘problem of empty names,’ and what sorts of challenges does it pose for the classical logic, according to Frege and Russell?
  2. What is the ‘puzzle about propositional attitude reports,’ and what is the nature of the challenge it poses for classical logic?
  3. What is ‘Frege’s puzzle’ and how does it pose a problem for the naïve theory of information content? How does it differ from the puzzle about propositional attitude reports?
  4. Choose either the ‘problem of empty names’ or the ‘puzzle about propositional attitude reports,’ and show how Russell deployed his theory of descriptions to resolve the challenge it poses for classical logic.
  5. What was the ‘foundations crisis in mathematics,’ and how did it motivate Russell and Frege’s respective attempts to derive mathematical truth from logical truth?  What is logicism?  What did Frege and Rusell set out to prove in the context of their logicist project, and how did they go about proving it?
  6. What is ‘the problem of false propositions,’ and what is the nature of the difficulty it poses for the viability of ‘Russellian propositions’ as an adequate characterization of the meaning (or semantic content) of a declarative sentence?  How is Russell’s subsequent ‘multiple relation’ theory of judgment supposed to relieve this difficulty?
  7. Briefly explicate Wittgenstein’s critique of Russell’s ‘multiple relation’ theory of judgment.  Why does Wittgenstein think that Russell’s theory fails to ensure that one cannot judge that ‘this table penholders the book’?
  8. Briefly outline Wittgenstein’s ‘picture theory of propositions.’  In what sense is a proposition a fact according to Wittgenstein?  Why, if the proposition in question is elementary, is the sign ‘R’ an inessential element of the proposition ‘aRb’?
  9. Briefly explicate the three core theses of Tractarian Semantics (Bi-Polarity, Independence, Extensionality).  Use truth-tables to illustrate these core semantic concepts.

 

………………Answer Preview……………

Empty name have meaning that they actually shouldn’t have. This is the definition of empty name. For instance the word, Pegasus is an empty name referring to nothing but if it appears in a sentence then that sentence will have a meaning attached to it. Example in a sentence is; ‘Pegasus has two wings’. In this context we can understand the sentence and what it means. Taking the name Pegasus, there is no meaning attached to it.  Let us see what the meaning of a proper noun in context other than the object which it refers. The actual meaning of a proper noun in context is not the same…………….

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