• Shawn
    10.3k
    Does the following sentence...:

    "I love you more than words can say."

    ... express its meaning?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Why was this moved to the Lounge? It's a legitimate question.
  • Baden
    9.6k


    It strikes me as casual barstool "philosophy" with no definitive answer that's likely to invite a lot of attempts at humour rather than being a serious philosophical issue that you're puzzled about.

    But if I'm wrong and it develops in an unexpectedly positive direction, I'll move it back
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    It strikes me as casual barstool "philosophy" with no definitive answer that's likely to invite a lot of attempts at humour rather than being a serious philosophical issue that you're puzzled about.

    But if I'm wrong and it develops in an unexpectedly positive direction, I'll move it back
    Baden

    Innocent until proven guilty? Let's give it a chance on the front page at least? Could invite some serious discussion about meaning?
  • Baden
    9.6k


    Alright then.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Alright then.Baden

    Thank you Baden.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    To post something philosophical, the sentence "I love you more than words can say." appears to be a self-referential sentence, is that true? It would be more appropriate to say something "I love you more than these words can say."; but, it appears to be self-referential by the general "than words can say" to my eyes.

    Is it self-referential?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Does the following sentence...:

    "I love you more than words can say."

    ... express its meaning?
    Wallows

    Sentences don't literally "express meaning," you assign meaning to them. And sure, that sentence is easy for many of us to assign meanings to, and to provide alternate wordings of, etc.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Sentences don't literally "express meaning," you assign meaning to them.Terrapin Station

    Then, is the meaning of "I love you more than words can say." obtained from self-referentiality?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    What part of the sentence might you take to be referring to the sentence itself?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    What part of the sentence might you take to be referring to the sentence itself?Terrapin Station

    In "I love you more than words can say", I'm assuming that it's the "than words can say" part. The words obviously being the words of the sentence itself, including all the words listed in a common dictionary.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Not words in general?Terrapin Station

    Well, that includes the words in the sentence itself, no?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    Well, sure, those are words, too. So then you'd say that any sentence about language, words in general is self-referential?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Well, sure, those are words, too. So then you'd say that any sentence about language, words in general is self-referential?Terrapin Station

    Well, sure. But, do you have any example in mind?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    "Linguistics is the scientific study of language" for example.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    "Linguistics is the scientific study of language" for example.Terrapin Station

    It doesn't appear to be self-referential in the same manner that "I love you more than words can say."

    Is it?

    I don't know if intentionality is a factor here, as in with "love"?
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    Is it self-referential?Wallows
    No, because it is a statement of inequality, just like saying - 'I am taller than that anthill'. If it were a statement of equality it might be self-referential.

    Another example might be 'I am heavier than this scale can measure'. It is not self-referential. It is really just saying something about the limitations of the scale.

    Scale <-> words.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    No, because it is a statement of inequality, just like saying - 'I am taller than that anthill'. If it were a statement of equality it might be self-referential.andrewk

    But, intentions have no measure of equality. Do they? They're purely qualitative, with no quantitative measure.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Waiting for @Banno to chime in.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    It doesn't appear to be self-referential in the same manner that "I love you more than words can say."Wallows

    So then simply referring to language or words when there are language or words in the sentence probably isn't sufficient for something to be self-referential
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    So then simply referring to language or words when there are language or words in the sentence probably isn't sufficient for something to be self-referentialTerrapin Station

    I'm not sure. It seems to me that to talk about intentionalities in the manner of being of greater significance/meaning than "what words can say" seems quite self-referential to me.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Say that we boot up a Commodore 64 and start typing text from websites into it. We're stuck with no storage devices other than the Commodore's on-board RAM.

    At the start, though, we type, "The Internet contains much more text than this computer will be able to."

    Is that self-referential?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Is that self-referential?Terrapin Station

    No, because there's no room for ambiguity and vagueness to fill in there as in the case with qualitative aspects of the intentionality of "love" in the sentence posited in the OP. I feel as though half of the meaning of the sentence is expressed in its ambiguity and vagueness.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    Why would ambiguity/vagueness have something to do with self-referentiality, though?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Why would ambiguity/vagueness have something to do with self-referentiality, though?Terrapin Station

    I don't know. That's just one component of the meaning of the sentence, is what I meant. Self-referentiality, the other.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    The love sentence is similar to the Commdore 64 sentence. They're both saying that the medium at hand isn't capable of doing the job we'd like for it to be able to do.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    The love sentence is similar to the Commdore 64 sentence. They're both saying that the medium at hand isn't capable of doing the job we'd like for it to be able to do.Terrapin Station

    Yes; but I refer you back to what @andrewk said. Namely, the sentence achieves inequality in the case of the Commodore 64. In the case of the intentionality of love, we cannot achieve a state of 'inequality' due to the vagueness and ambiguity of the intentionality or subject of 'love'.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    BTW, andrewk, could you refer me to where I can read up on more of what you already said? Seems interesting.
  • Banno
    7.2k
    Thou shalt not laugh.


    Philosophy is serious, and one ought not have any fun while philosophising. If it is funny, it is not philosophy.
  • Banno
    7.2k
    Are you stalking me? My ancient wisdom, reincarnated in a new forum.
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