Language and Philosophical Problems

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Psychology Press, 1990 - Philosophy - 231 pages
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Language and Philosophical Problems investigates problems about mind, meaning and mathematics rooted in preconceptions of language. It deals in particular with problems which are connected with our tendency to be misled by certain prevailing views and preconceptions about language. Philosophical claims made by theorists of meaning are scrutinized and shown to be connected with common views about the nature of certain mathematical notions and methods. Drawing in particular on Wittgenstein's ideas, Sren Stenlund demonstrates a strategy for tracing out and resolving conceptual and philosophical problems. By a critical examination of examples from different areas of philosophy, he shows that many problems arise through the transgression of the limits of the use of technical concepts and formal methods. Many prima facie different kinds of problems are shown to have common roots, and should thus be dealt and resolved together. Such an approach is usually prevented by the influence of traditional philosophical terminology and classification. The results of this investigation make it clear that the received ways of subdividing the subject matter of philosophy often conceal the roots of the problem.
 

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Contents

LANGUAGE MIND AND MACHINES
1
The notion of natural language
4
Conceptual investigation
7
Language as a universal medium
9
Linguistic communication and solipsism
14
The mental and the physical
17
The idea of artificial intelligence
22
Machine behaviour and human action
25
Theory of meaning versus conceptual investigation
60
Confusion of the perspectives of linguistics and philosophy
65
Some philosophical prejudices
70
Languages with specified structure
73
Form and content of sentences
78
The notion of literal meaning
85
Indeterminacy of the form of expressions
91
Idealization in science and philosophy
97

Turings test
30
Calculation versus mechanical symbol manipulation
37
Deceptive criticism of AI
40
Different senses of action
45
Logical rules and conditions
48
NOTIONS OF LANGUAGE AND THEORIES OF MEANING
55
Sentences of a language versus formulas of a calculus
101
FORM AND CONTENT IN MATHEMATICS
131
Notes
209
Bibliography
223
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