• creativesoul
    4.3k
    A logical fiction is the result of a valid argument. Thus, it warrants the name "logical". It is a fiction because it is not true. The simple arguments showing that validity is insufficient for truth ought be well-known.

    I'm curious how many more complex examples of logical fiction can be discussed here. Actual ones abound, it seems to me. Imaginary ones aren't needed to bear any burden are they? Here's some...

    All thought/belief are propositional in their content. All propositions are existentially dependent upon language. Therefore, all thought/belief are existentially dependent upon language. Where there is no language, there can be no thought/belief.

    A truth is propositional in content. Propositions are existentially dependent upon language. Truth is existentially dependent upon language. Where there is no language there can be no truth.

    Meaning is propositional in content... well, you know the rest(as above).

    Anyone care to discuss why and/or how these are logical fictions, or propose another?
  • MindForged
    755
    I'm confused as to how propositions are dependent on language. The standard characterization of a proposition is as the content of a well-formed sentence given some set of linguistic rules. This is why it is often said that the same proposition can be expressed by different sentences, even ones in different languages. Otherwise you'd end up in the really silly situation where you're committed to saying that pre-language humans couldn't have had beliefs because they had no language, as beliefs are generally understood as propositional in nature.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    All propositions are predication. All predication is linguistic. All propositions are linguistic.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    ...it is often said that the same proposition can be expressed by different sentences, even ones in different languages.MindForged

    Here the term "proposition" is mistakenly separated from language.

    Different languages can say much the same thing because they can use different designators to pick out the same entities and/or draw the same correlations between these things.

    Different names, same referent.

    It does not follow from the fact that different languages can say much the same thing(express the same proposition) that propositions are not existentially dependent upon language.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    beliefs are generally understood as propositional in nature...MindForged

    I think that that is a mistake too. I mean, I'm not denying that that's how they are generally conceived/understood/thought about, but that that understanding is more of a misunderstanding.
  • tim wood
    1.8k
    Definition of terms. Definition of terms. Definition of terms! Or not, if you don't care to have a decent argument.

    Truth is existentially dependent upon language.creativesoul

    "Truth" will stand in for all the terms (thought, belief, existentially, meaning). What is truth? If that's too hard (and it's too hard for me) then for the purposes of this thread, what do you say truth means?
  • creativesoul
    4.3k


    That was referring to propositional truth(true statements).
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    ...what do you say truth means...tim wood

    That is answered by virtue of how the term is used.
  • tim wood
    1.8k
    Anyone care to discuss why and/or how these are logical fictions, or propose another?creativesoul

    Validity is one aspect or test of an argument, truth a different test. Why expect two different tests to function the same? A true conclusion is not necessarily the result of a valid argument. A valid argument does not automatically yield a true result. I suppose one could start to list the possible errors and combinations thereof , but it would be a long list. And perhaps adds nothing but detail to the initial observation.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    Validity is one aspect or test of an argument, truth a different test. Why expect two different tests to function the same?tim wood

    Why think that I am? :yikes:
  • MindForged
    755
    Different languages can say much the same thing because they can use different designators to pick out the same entities and/or draw the same correlations between these things.creativesoul

    You're not really making the case for your conclusion though. If propositions were somehow dependent on language, then as I said you would be committed to the view that before language existed humans had no beliefs. You said beliefs are Propositional in nature in your OP ("All thought/belief are propositional in their content."), so I don't see how you are supposed to be avoiding the absurd conclusion that humans once lacked beliefs entirely.

    If different designators can pick out the same entity, then the content of these terms are not linguistic in nature because they transcend any particular utterance as they can be picked out by any appropriate one. Whether "The Sun is red" or "Taiyo wa akai", the same meaning is expressed. Meaning is not identical to language. Language is a vehicle by which to communicate meaning.
  • Mww
    295
    discuss why and/or how these are logical fictionscreativesoul

    Ok, I’ll give it a shot.

    Where there is no language there can be no truth.creativesoul

    If I fall out of a tree, it is not true I will hit the ground, if I don’t tell anybody I just fell out of a tree?

    Where there is no language, there can be no thought/belief.creativesoul

    If I fall out of a tree, I won’t think a pain is coming if I just say something?

    logical fiction is the result of a valid argument.... It is a fiction because it is not truecreativesoul

    A valid argument is not necessarily a logical fiction; it’s conclusion can be true.

    Do I get a gold star??
  • Wallows
    7k
    Meaning is not identical to language. Language is a vehicle by which to communicate meaning.MindForged

    I'm puzzled by what you mean by this? Why the discontinuity?
  • MindForged
    755
    You can communicate the same meaning in different languages. If meaning were bound to a language, this wouldn't be possible.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    You're not really making the case for your conclusion though. If propositions were somehow dependent on language, then as I said you would be committed to the view that before language existed humans had no beliefs. You said beliefs are Propositional in nature in your OP ("All thought/belief are propositional in their content."), so I don't see how you are supposed to be avoiding the absurd conclusion that humans once lacked beliefs entirely.MindForged

    The OP sets out a few examples of logical fictions. That particular absurdity is one that I've not seen any common school of thought avoid without asserting that propositions are somehow independent of language. I've noticed you've taken that route as well.

    I avoid the absurd conclusion while maintaining that propositions are existentially dependent upon language. I haven't put arguments for my position out in this thread. but they are in some of my others, if you'd like to look. That's not the purpose here so much as taking proper account of logical fictions, although it often becomes necessary depending upon progress.


    If different designators can pick out the same entity, then the content of these terms are not linguistic in nature because they transcend any particular utterance as they can be picked out by any appropriate one. Whether "The Sun is red" or "Taiyo wa akai", the same meaning is expressed. Meaning is not identical to language. Language is a vehicle by which to communicate meaning.MindForged

    Yeah, that makes little to no sense to me. I mean, I acknowledge the issue that you're trying to avoid, but do not see how you have.

    "The content of these terms"

    What is that?

    The referents? The meaning?

    Are propositions equivalent to meaning?

    I reject the last claim. There are all sorts of way to use language that are not communicating meaning.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    You can communicate the same meaning in different languages. If meaning were bound to a language, this wouldn't be possible.MindForged

    Well, it could be if meaning were bound to language as compared/contrasted to "a" language.

    Although, I do not hold such a position. At least not all meaning. Some meaning most certainly is bound to language. Such meaning transcends the individual speaker, but clearly does not transcend the regular language use itself.

    Dead language is a dead culture. Colonialism and Jeeezus are adequate proof of that. Bibles translated into native tongues were often very useful tools in converting a community of speakers into English speakers. Where translation failed meaning was lost... entire cultures dead right alongside the last remaining speaker...

    There are enough actual cases where something in one language cannot be effectively translated into another due to the unspoken contextual content bearing upon that meaningful expression. All of the correlations, associations, and/or connections therein(the unspoken context) combine to help create familial, cultural, social particulars... including idioms, colloquialisms, and that sort of thing. The literal translation cannot possibly account for the meaning in the original language. This is true of different dialects of the same language as well.

    The fact that some expressions in one language have equivalent expressions in another doesn't bear the burden you need to carry the case. It's a bit more nuanced than that. It's all about thought/belief.

    Meaning is not equivalent to a proposition to begin with. It doesn't follow from the fact that meaning transcends an individual speaker that propositions are not existentially dependent upon language.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    Where there is no language there can be no truth.
    — creativesoul

    If I fall out of a tree, it is not true I will hit the ground, if I don’t tell anybody I just fell out of a tree?
    Mww

    That quote is a conclusion using the notion of propositional truth(true statements). I would agree that where there is no language there can be no true propositions/statements.

    Your question doesn't quite make the parsing required to make sense of propositional truth.

    If you fall out of a tree, then something has happened. If you hit the ground then something has happened. There need be no language for any of that to happen. However, the statement "I will hit the ground" is existentially dependent upon language. It cannot even be made, let alone be true/false where there is no language.


    Do I get a gold star??Mww

    Not yet.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    A true conclusion is not necessarily the result of a valid argument. A valid argument does not automatically yield a true result.tim wood

    Agreed.

    The point of this thread is/was to tease out positions which are based upon logical possibility alone. That requires coherence in the sense of "logical possibility" I'm using as opposed to just any ole meaningful statement/proposition.

    Moreover, perhaps there's some commonality between being based upon definition alone and logical possibility alone, particularly in cases where we're taking account of that which existed in its entirety prior to our account(that is - when definitions can be misleading and/or downright wrong).
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    If different designators can pick out the same entity...MindForged

    Then the entity is not equivalent to the designator. Then more than one language have named the entity. Then different languages can share the same referent by virtue of using different designators to pick it out. Then clearly our world is not equivalent to our language.

    When a plurality of creatures draw correlations between the same things, then meaning is shared. The name "sun" has a referent that is not existentially dependent upon language. "Red" does as well. Different languages can and do use different names to pick out the same things as well as draw correlations between those things. Different languages do not share the same meaning, because the correlations are not drawn between the same things. The referent is the same. The designator is not.

    It does not follow that propositions are not existentially dependent upon language. They most certainly are. I've given the argument.
  • Terrapin Station
    6.9k
    Anyone care to discuss why and/or how these are logical fictions,creativesoul

    For one, they all have false premises.
  • Mww
    295
    I grant your general thesis with respect to propositional truths, but the OP designates “logical fictions”, one of which is “a truth is propositional in content”. A simple example shows a truth not to be necessarily propositional in content.

    There need be no language for any of that to happen.creativesoul

    True enough. It is not a matter of language that when I fall out of a tree, hitting the ground follows necessarily. The physical part adheres to the principle of cause and effect, the conclusion adheres to the principle of inductive reasoning, both of which stand the test of truth whether or not speech or any other kind of language is involved.

    The statement “I will hit the ground” itself does require language, of course, because it is merely objectified natural communication. But the necessary truth the statement represents, an a priori apodictic certainty, needs no communicable objectification, which would seem to affirm the logical fiction, “where there is no language there can be no truth”.

    Now. About that star.......
  • Terrapin Station
    6.9k
    Truth isn't propositional in content. Truth is a relation between propositions and something else (the something else depends on the truth theory you subscribe to). And I'd say that the relation is a judgment that individuals make.
  • tim wood
    1.8k
    If by logical possibility you mean valid without respect of truth, then it's just a matter of opening up the forms of argument and stocking them with whatever propositions occur to you - and that is really a lot of possibilities. Is that what you meant?
  • creativesoul
    4.3k


    Anyone care to discuss why and/or how these are logical fictions,
    — creativesoul

    For one, they all have false premises.
    Terrapin Station

    Indeed.
  • MindForged
    755
    The OP sets out a few examples of logical fictions. That particular absurdity is one that I've not seen any common school of thought avoid without asserting that propositions are somehow independent of language. I've noticed you've taken that route as well.creativesoul

    Well yes, it's (probably) why many do not posit propositions as linguistic. Most don't, I suspect.

    Yeah, that makes little to no sense to me. I mean, I acknowledge the issue that you're trying to avoid, but do not see how you have.

    "The content of these terms"

    What is that?

    The referents? The meaning?

    Are propositions equivalent to meaning?

    I reject the last claim. There are all sorts of way to use language that are not communicating meaning.
    creativesoul

    It's the meaning. They have the same content because they express the same proposition. Just because there are other ways of communicating meaning in language does not negate this view of propositions. After all, the standard view is that only decideable declarative sentences have a corresponding proposition.

    Meaning is not equivalent to a proposition to begin with. It doesn't follow from the fact that meaning transcends an individual speaker that propositions are not existentially dependent upon language.creativesoul

    I didn't say meaning was equivalent to a proposition, I said the content of a proposition is it's meaning. My argument in no way assumed that idioms and such are to be understood literally. However, the understanding of many idioms will translate to some proposition, and it's the meaning of those which is not dependent on language because it's not (necessarily) making a proposition regarding the language itself.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    I grant your general thesis with respect to propositional truths, but the OP designates “logical fictions”, one of which is “a truth is propositional in content”. A simple example shows a truth not to be necessarily propositional in content.Mww

    Well... "A truth is propositional in content" is not the logical fiction for it serves as a premiss. The logical fiction is the conclusion.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    ...the conclusion adheres to the principle of inductive reasoning, both of which stand the test of truth whether or not speech or any other kind of language is involved.Mww

    The principle of inductive reasoning is linguistic, as are each and every "test of truth"...
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    But the necessary truth the statement represents...Mww

    This presupposes that there are such things as "necessary truths" that evidently exist independently of language. Otherwise, it would make no sense to say that a statement can 'represent' such a thing.

    :yikes:

    I'm a bit puzzled here...

    What exactly do these necessary truths consist in/of if not statements/propositions?
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    Truth isn't propositional in content. Truth is a relation between propositions and something else (the something else depends on the truth theory you subscribe to). And I'd say that the relation is a judgment that individuals make.Terrapin Station

    There are different acceptable uses of the term "truth". Typically in philosophy they boils down to one of two... Coherence and/or Correspondence. Some say it takes both.

    I think we're better served here setting out the issues of logical fictions as it pertains to the notion one is working from.

    Propositional truth is most certainly propositional in content. Denying that much is rather silly.
  • creativesoul
    4.3k
    If by logical possibility you mean valid without respect of truth, then it's just a matter of opening up the forms of argument and stocking them with whatever propositions occur to you - and that is really a lot of possibilities. Is that what you meant?tim wood

    Roughly...

    There's no need to count all the possible positions that would/could be based upon logical fiction. There are more than enough actual ones it seems to me to make quite an interesting discussion...
  • creativesoul
    4.3k


    Are you taking the position that...

    The content of a proposition is it's meaning. Different languages communicate the same meaning. That would be to communicate the same proposition in two different languages?



    What's the difference between a proposition and it's meaning? Propositions consist of meaning, I suppose, according to the view you're putting forth. What does meaning consist of?

    Are the two existentially independent? Is one dependent upon the other, or co-dependent, or something else???

    I can effectively argue for meaning(rudimentary) that exists prior to language. Propositions not so much...

    What is a proposition if not proposed? How does one propose without language?

    You've claimed that the content of terms is meaning, and that the content of a proposition is meaning. How do you avoid that propositions are terms?




    Well yes, it's (probably) why many do not posit propositions as linguistic. Most don't, I suspect...MindForged

    I'm certain that there is a better way than that to avoid the absurdity... The notion of propositions existing independently of language is one of the banes of philosophy.

    A logical fiction based upon gross misunderstandings of thought, belief, and meaning...
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.