I don't think that using profanity tends to be wrong. (Maybe if, "Damn it!!!" were the vocal trigger for some terrible weapon that could destroy the Earth...) It can’t be the sound of the profane expression that makes it wrong—else "c**k" would be a sin to say even if used to refer to a certain aviary kind. And it can’t be the meaning: to say "sex" is not in itself unethical. What about a combination of a given sound and a given meaning, an emergent (supervenient) property of this combination? It could be argued that to use a certain word as slang for something aggressive or sexual is wrong. But how? If I said "door" to mean the same as "damn" (as in, “Damn it!”), would this be transgression? Here we run into a problem of differentiating between the supposed permissibility of saying, say, “What the heck…” instead of, “What the hell…” or, “What the f**k…” Why is the first generally regarded as acceptable yet the next two are taken to be increasingly unethical (in some circumstances)? It doesn't make sense...
Could questions in the philosophy of language in principle be answered in terms of the structures of the human brain? Might we imagine, for instance, pointing at a certain lobe and saying "Well, this shows that Russell was wrong about denotation"?
My question concerns analyticity. I'm a Danish undergraduate student of classics, so I don't have any formal education in philosophy. Anyway, here goes: How do you determine whether or not a proposition is analytic?
I believe that the traditional definition is something like this: for a proposition to be analytic the predicate has to be contained in the subject (in the sense that the truth of the proposition can be determined purely on the basis of the semantics of the concepts used and of an understanding of the logical form of the proposition). But this does not seem to be enough.
Consider this example: "Wolves live in packs". This would normally qualify as a synthetic proposition, but why exactly? Imagine that a person sitting in her favourite armchair uses her semantic mastery of the concept of wolves and determines the truth of the proposition without lifting a finger. Would that make the proposition "analytic". There seems to be something wrong here.
One could say that every proposition that is...
It is said that language poses a problem in the study of philosophy because, for example in the English language, of the different meanings a single word can have and because there are no words to describe certain concepts, mixed thoughts, mixed emotions, etc. However, some languages are supposed to be better than others (for the purpose of understanding / teaching philosophy) Sanskrit apparently being the best / one of the best. Is this true and is it worthwhile learning Sanskrit for the purpose of greater understanding of philosophy?
I would like to ask you if we can define "possibility" (and "impossibility", "necessity" and "contingency") in the following way: If something is true, then it is possible. On the contrary, from something being possible, it does not follow that it is true. If something is necessary, then it is true. On the contrary, from something being true, it does not follow that it is necessary. I am assuming, of course, that we can easily define the four first terms from each other (for example, if something is necessary, then it is not possible that it is not true). Isn't this a good way to define possibility, at least taking "possibility" in its ordinary more or less vague meaning?
Where on earth did Philosophers get the idea that "just in case" means "if and only if" instead of "in the event of"? I ask just in case there's a legitimate reason for the apparently willful muddying of language!
 for example http://www.askphilosophers.org/question/2290
I appreciate your homepage very much.
I would like to ask you for opinion about a method of thinking.
The idea is this one:
If you have a question, and you think you cannot answer it, may you change your question to a similar/different one?
For example: Does God exist?
A similar question would be: How would it affect me if I knew that God does exist?
(Example by: Bert Brecht- Stories of Mr. Keuner
The question of whether there is a God
A man asked Mr. K. whether there is a God.
Mr. K. said: “I advise you to consider whether, depending on the answer, your behavior would change. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can at least be of help to the extent that I can say, you have already decided: you need a God.”)
I think it means getting a different point of view or a different way to approach towards a question.
What do you think about such a method of thinking? Is it legal or not? Do you think it is a serious way of thinking or is it a trap...
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