• philosophy
    67
    Aristotle posits the existence of ''substance''. Substance is that of which other things are predicated but is not itself predicated. Therefore, ''motion'', ''colour'', etc. cannot count as substances. Aristotle's conception of substance is an extension of subject-predicate logic: a predicate (e.g. ''wise'') is attached to a subject (e.g. ''Socrates''), generating a proposition (e.g. ''Socrates is wise.'')

    But it seems that subject-predicate logic is somehow inherent to the way we use language. For example, we do not say statements like ''there is rain'', rather we say ''it is raining'', as if there is some subject, ''it'', to which the predicate ''raining'' can be attached. The absurdity of this becomes clearer with a statement like ''lightning flashes'', since there is no distinction here between the subject ''lightning'' and its predicate ''flash''.

    This made me wonder: does the world structure our language or does our language structure the world? In other words, going back the example I started with, does Aristotle posit the existence of substance because that is how the world really is like, or does the world appear to have substances because of the way Aristotle uses language?
  • Sir2u
    1.9k
    For example, we do not say statements like ''there is rain'', rather we say ''it is raining'', as if there is some subject, ''it'', to which the predicate ''raining'' can be attached.philosophy

    In some languages you do say there is rain.

    The absurdity of this becomes clearer with a statement like ''lightning flashes'', since there is no distinction here between the subject ''lightning'' and its predicate ''flash''.philosophy

    ''lightning flashes'' could be a clause or phrase or even a subject but never a statement.

    This would depend on context.
    The lightening flashes across the sky. It is obvious which is the subject.

    There are lightening flashes in the sky. Nothing confusing about that either.

    In other words, going back the example I started with, does Aristotle posit the existence of substance because that is how the world really is like, or does the world appear to have substances because of the way Aristotle uses language?philosophy
    If Aristotle was not already substance, how could he posit anything?
  • Josh Alfred
    110
    Both.

    It is true that intrinsic thinking comes from experience and also true that in thinking something you can have an extrinsic experience.

    The order in which an event happens (the structure of the world) can cause logical structure. Logical structure (the way a plan is ordered) can construct the world.

    Simple as that really, but when you try to get to visualizing it takes a ounce of creativity to do so -something I intended to leave undone due to time.
  • Frotunes
    114
    It's a bit of both really. Firstly language was used to describe the world, but then education, the printing press, television, phones and the internet made language so built into our daily lives that we started to percept the world according to the information we got from those sources.
    Nobody knew mountains were beautiful before the painters, and nobody knew comtemplating was interesting before the philosophers. Now when we look at a mountain, we immediately look at it in terms of aesthetics, and when we think we claim that we're doing philosophy.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Thinking about the world, including observed, already-extant language use, structures language.

    (Re "substance," the idea of "substance" sans properties is nonsensical.)
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Re subject/predicate form, it's simply a matter of (a) what we're referring to/what we're pointing at, and (b) what we want to say about what we're pointing at.
  • Wittgenstein
    273

    How about when we use the words like God, afterlife etc.
    A lot of words in our language do not correspond to anything in this world or any imaginable world .
    Or are these words being misused and cannot have a definite sense.
  • Janus
    8.7k
    But it seems that subject-predicate logic is somehow inherent to the way we use language. For example, we do not say statements like ''there is rain'', rather we say ''it is raining'', as if there is some subject, ''it'', to which the predicate ''raining'' can be attached.philosophy

    Predicates can be applied to situations as well as to subjects. So, the way I would parse "it is raining" is that there is a situation of raining, and the "it" is the situation of which the "is raining" is predicated.
  • Necrofantasia
    17
    Both, older generations structure language, which then shapes newer generations, who, as they get older, structure language again and so on.
  • Galuchat
    703
    This made me wonder: does the world structure our language or does our language structure the world?philosophy
    Language is neither structured by the world, nor does it structure the world.
    Language use (Literacy) is:
    1) A human faculty which develops subjectively in parallel with corporeal and mental maturation, and learning.
    2) A type of syntactic action which has direction of fit (implying intentionality).
    a) Mind-To-Fit-World entails semantic action (meaning actualisation).
    b) World-To-Fit-Mind entails pragmatic action (practise actualisation).
  • ovdtogt
    669
    As with music language is influenced by and influences the world. It's structure is mathematical.
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