Syntax and semantics

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ReasonMadeFlesh
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Syntax and semantics

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 6th, 2018, 11:47 am

It all depends what you mean!

One word can mean many different things to many people. Now imagine if all the problems of philosophy could be resolved via careful clarification of language.

If there is a sign, how are we to assign meaning to it?

Meaning is use. We sometimes forget the meaning of words, and their meaning must evolve and change in time.

This is why the ultimate True philosophy can never be written. We are constantly mutating, as are the very signs and symbols and memories we use to try to pin down an unpinnable world.

When we look back at what we have written, it often ceases to make sense. In this everchanging world, we are not static observers, we go by with the rest of it, and there is no you to cling to it anyway.
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Mosesquine
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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Mosesquine » June 7th, 2018, 2:38 am

There is a semantic theory for natural language developed by Donald Davidson. The theory is called 'truth conditional semantics'. Here's an example:

(∀S)(∀t)(True("The tallest President of USA is not a creature with head" S, t) ↔ ~(∃x)(x is the tallest President of USA & ~(∃y)(y is the tallest President of USA & x ≠ y) & x is a creature with head))

For every speaker S, for every time t, "The tallest President of USA is not a creature with head" is true when spoken by speaker S at time t, iff it is not the case that there exists some x such that x is the tallest President of USA, and it is not the case that there exists some y such that y is the tallest President of USA, and it is not the case that x is identical to y; and x is a creature with head.

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 7th, 2018, 6:16 pm

Formal logic can often convolute natural language more than is necessary.

Sometimes it's useful, in mathematics especially, and it can be useful to know modal logic, or even read Kripke and Lewis, but anything beyond that is just masturbation imo.

It'a application only becomes very interesting when looking at paradoxes like the liar paradox or other such problems that arise in language.

Russell's theory of descriptions was the solution to Meinong's problem with referring to nonexistent objects.

"The present King of France is bald"

false bc there is no such King. So it's a vacuous truth.

How are we to use the word 'not'? What is it that we are negating of something when we say it is not? Where is this nothing we are referring to? Or even when you want to discuss Russell's paradox and set theory.

Formal logic is useful in these areas. It is useful for logicians to tackle metaphysical problems this way.
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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Mosesquine » June 8th, 2018, 9:29 am

ReasonMadeFlesh wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 6:16 pm
Formal logic can often convolute natural language more than is necessary.

Sometimes it's useful, in mathematics especially, and it can be useful to know modal logic, or even read Kripke and Lewis, but anything beyond that is just masturbation imo.

It'a application only becomes very interesting when looking at paradoxes like the liar paradox or other such problems that arise in language.

Russell's theory of descriptions was the solution to Meinong's problem with referring to nonexistent objects.

"The present King of France is bald"

false bc there is no such King. So it's a vacuous truth.

How are we to use the word 'not'? What is it that we are negating of something when we say it is not? Where is this nothing we are referring to? Or even when you want to discuss Russell's paradox and set theory.

Formal logic is useful in these areas. It is useful for logicians to tackle metaphysical problems this way.


Formal logic is clearer than natural languages. This means that formal logic is better than natural languages in at least some aspects. Analogically speaking, shotguns are used because they are better than knifes in battles. Logicians are using formal logic in many other fields as well as mathematics, metaphysical problems, and the like. So, you, *ReasonMadeFlesh* are wrong in terms of your underestimating formal logic.

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 8th, 2018, 10:16 am

Mosesquine wrote:
June 8th, 2018, 9:29 am
ReasonMadeFlesh wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 6:16 pm
Formal logic can often convolute natural language more than is necessary.

Sometimes it's useful, in mathematics especially, and it can be useful to know modal logic, or even read Kripke and Lewis, but anything beyond that is just masturbation imo.

It'a application only becomes very interesting when looking at paradoxes like the liar paradox or other such problems that arise in language.

Russell's theory of descriptions was the solution to Meinong's problem with referring to nonexistent objects.

"The present King of France is bald"

false bc there is no such King. So it's a vacuous truth.

How are we to use the word 'not'? What is it that we are negating of something when we say it is not? Where is this nothing we are referring to? Or even when you want to discuss Russell's paradox and set theory.

Formal logic is useful in these areas. It is useful for logicians to tackle metaphysical problems this way.

Formal logic is clearer than natural languages. This means that formal logic is better than natural languages in at least some aspects. Analogically speaking, shotguns are used because they are better than knifes in battles. Logicians are using formal logic in many other fields as well as mathematics, metaphysical problems, and the like. So, you, *ReasonMadeFlesh* are wrong in terms of your underestimating formal logic.
It depends on what you want to use it for.

A shotgun isn't the best tool for opening a can of beans. So with many philosophical problems, formal logic is unnecessary.

And I was talking about semantics in general as the meaning given to signs and symbols, not any particular theory of semantics in a formal sense, perhaps I should have been clearer.
"A philosopher who does not take part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Mosesquine » June 8th, 2018, 11:12 am

ReasonMadeFlesh wrote:
June 8th, 2018, 10:16 am
Mosesquine wrote:
June 8th, 2018, 9:29 am



Formal logic is clearer than natural languages. This means that formal logic is better than natural languages in at least some aspects. Analogically speaking, shotguns are used because they are better than knifes in battles. Logicians are using formal logic in many other fields as well as mathematics, metaphysical problems, and the like. So, you, *ReasonMadeFlesh* are wrong in terms of your underestimating formal logic.
It depends on what you want to use it for.

A shotgun isn't the best tool for opening a can of beans. So with many philosophical problems, formal logic is unnecessary.

And I was talking about semantics in general as the meaning given to signs and symbols, not any particular theory of semantics in a formal sense, perhaps I should have been clearer.


Your view that formal logic depends on what persons want to use it for is not right, according to current philosophical tendencies in English-speaking worlds. Fundamentally, formal logic techniques are widely used for avoiding meaningless expressions. Every anglophone philosophers think that so with many philosophical problems, formal logic is necessarily needed. Logic courses held in undergraduate level at colleges and universities are definite evidence.

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by The Beast » June 8th, 2018, 11:38 am

It must be just so. Semantics is reason made flesh. In the search for truth (my truth) it helps to aid the truth (my truth). One system of truth composes answers in five terms of more likely or less likely. I may use this system to evaluate everything I had written. Semantics is what I use to justify my truth. However, I also include a system of quantities. Take for example the economic world. Divide the market in three parts. Each part is made of several countries aligned with treaties… and so, I compare to less; equal and more than equal. If it is less than equal, then I will proceed to find out why by dividing the group into smaller groups until finding out the culprit of the situation. I may choose to move to another group if it is in my power. Otherwise, I may use semantics or a ridiculous logic to hide the truth so that I could be what my truth said I’m not. Most truths are based on quantities. Creative accounting of less; equal or more than equal opposed to all or nothing. Creative accounting based on expectations of truth manipulated by creative accounting of actual results. Yeah! It may be a metaphor therefore, true… When is it that adjectives become metaphors? When are metaphors logically true? How could you tell fat or ugly if not with an elegant metaphor no one understands but you and the health system.

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Burning ghost » June 10th, 2018, 4:43 am

Every word is an amalgam of unobtainable singular “bits”. In order to write a narrative, or recite one verbally, we require to approach - in a blind manner - the narrative of each word in its lexical habitat.

Embedded in the novel is the story of the chapter, and within the story of the paragraph, the sentence, the word and then ... no obtainable “singular bit”.
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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by RJG » June 10th, 2018, 12:19 pm

Burning ghost wrote:Embedded in the novel is the story of the chapter, and within the story of the paragraph, the sentence, the word and then...
...bits of sensory experiences (...that make up the words, that make up the sentence, that makes up the paragraph, etc.).

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by The Beast » June 10th, 2018, 12:31 pm

The understanding (in some cases) is overload by a representation of the imagination. The resulting feeling is one of (two bits?). two bits for each (in the agreeable, lovely, delightful, enjoyable). The negative noemata filters the objective to the causation of suffering… of loss. What is good raises (aha) to a feeling of Peace. And so, the truth should be adorned and made beautiful by semantics. The feeling coming from the intuition is one of approval. My objective is my truth. Perhaps in Kantian terms, the moment gets old allowing the intuition to take on more semantics or to linger on in the Universal truth. Give it Time… to make the understanding empirical and better… and yet, never more tasteful.

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Burning ghost » June 10th, 2018, 1:14 pm

RJG wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 12:19 pm
Burning ghost wrote:Embedded in the novel is the story of the chapter, and within the story of the paragraph, the sentence, the word and then...
...bits of sensory experiences (...that make up the words, that make up the sentence, that makes up the paragraph, etc.).
You’re just using words ... that was my point. For something is meant by “sensory” and “experience”, so the attempt to capture and express falls short of some ...

I’m Kantian this terms it is a fool who claims to know “positive noumenonal”, yet by expressing such a sentiment a fool I am; as are we all.
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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by ThomasHobbes » June 10th, 2018, 4:32 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 1:14 pm
RJG wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 12:19 pm

...bits of sensory experiences (...that make up the words, that make up the sentence, that makes up the paragraph, etc.).
You’re just using words ... that was my point. For something is meant by “sensory” and “experience”, so the attempt to capture and express falls short of some ...

I’m Kantian this terms it is a fool who claims to know “positive noumenonal”, yet by expressing such a sentiment a fool I am; as are we all.
When you 'understand' the "just words" then the words are more than "just words".

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by RJG » June 10th, 2018, 5:56 pm

Burning ghost wrote:You’re just using words ... that was my point. For something is meant by “sensory” and “experience”, so the attempt to capture and express falls short of some …
Yes. Agreed. Something is meant of "sensory" and "experience", and from where does this something derive its meaning? ...through sensory experiences!!! (...note: it is not the "words" themselves that dictate meaning, but it is from that which these words 'refer' to).

For example, what is meant of "CAT"? ...isn't it the sensory 'audio' experience of "Caa-Aaa-Taa". or the sensory 'visual' experience "C-A-T" associated with the sensory visual and maybe tactile sensation of a soft furry animal? (...resonating from memory, taught to us possibly by our mothers/teachers?) Meanings are the 'association' of sensory experiences.

Sensory experiences are at the ROOT of all meanings, and all that we know (understand). We use "words" merely as a short-hand (short-cut) to communicate these sensations to others. It is the 'meaning' that we wish to communicate, not the silly "word" itself.

ThomasHobbes wrote:When you 'understand' the "just words" then the words are more than "just words".
Bingo. Succinctly (and very well) stated!

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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Burning ghost » June 10th, 2018, 10:03 pm

It’s like you’re both int3nrionalaly reading past what I said. So be it.
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Re: Syntax and semantics

Post by Burning ghost » June 11th, 2018, 3:39 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 4:32 pm
Burning ghost wrote:
June 10th, 2018, 1:14 pm


You’re just using words ... that was my point. For something is meant by “sensory” and “experience”, so the attempt to capture and express falls short of some ...

I’m Kantian this terms it is a fool who claims to know “positive noumenonal”, yet by expressing such a sentiment a fool I am; as are we all.
When you 'understand' the "just words" then the words are more than "just words".
But what do you “mean” by “understand”? That is all I was saying. There is a limit we’re forced to work within when parsing this or that item of experience.

My suggestion was to regard a “word” as a novel that is comprehended, yet (in this particular analogy) unreadable.

We can of course use universal terms, and we do (such as “such” and “as”), but they are not limited in how they may be applied to any given number of complex and/or contextual circumstances.

Another way to add to this problem would be to say “what cannot be spoken of cannot be spoken of.” Yet some would take this at face value and assume that that which cannot be spoken of is at least being referred to in that very sentence, which it isn’t, because it is merely a feeling around with words about the problem of articulating some thought.

All this is wrapped up in perspectives and applications of the term “absolute” and “accuracy”. They are concepts used to appreciate and which are applicable to communication between individuals.

If you don’t see what I mean it is not because I am incorrect. It is because of how you approach what I say, what “narratives” I apply to my words, and how I have wittingly tried to express something that is on the very edges of intelligible speech.
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