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Philosophy

Test 1 (pg. 1-25, 27-29)

QuestionAnswer
What are natural kind terms? "Natural" groupings; the philosophy of language takes an interest in natural kinds because basic issues are raised by the semantics of natural kind terms. There can exist many examples of them many places at once. Scientifically studied.
What is Elbourne's opinion on definitions and meaning? Defiintions aren't meanings.
According to Elbourne, why can't the meaning of a word be the scientifc definition given? I people can use and judge a word correctly, they know what the word is. Therefore, the meaning of that word can't be its given scientific definition.
What do Saul Kripke & Hilary Putnam think the definition of the word "gold" is? "The element with atomic weight 79."
What does Elbourne argue is wrong with Kripke & Putnam's opinion on the meaning of the word "gold"? Elbourne argues that if the meaning of the word "gold" were its scientific definition, it would signify that people use words that they would hterefore not know the meaning of.
Explain why the meaning of the word "water" can not be its scientific definition. Because we know the meaning of "water" before we know its scientific definition "H2O".
What is the meaning of the word "metal"? We never really know.
Eau = water (and vice-versa) is an example of what? Translation as meaning
Elbourne believes that the only place with perfectly successful definitions is in what? Why? Mathematics, because it is not a natural language.
If two sentences are true, what does this mean of the "and" connecting them? What is the purpose of this logic? It means the "and" connecting the two true sentences is also true. This logic is to explain a connecting word such as "and".
What is a bad theory in Elbourne's opinion? Externalist theory
What is the externalist theory? The meanings of words are things in the world; therefore, words refer to things.
What is the purpose of meaning in the externalist theory? Meaning is just reference and most of what we refer to is outside our own minds.
Who likes the externalist theory? Kripke and Putnam
In the externalist theory, names refer to what? Names refer to things (individual things).
In what theory can you refer to the thing without knowing the nature of the thing? Externalist theory
What category do adjectives fit into in the externalist theory? Properties
Give an example of a property or kind (remember, can be completely exemplified in EACH of two places at the SAME TIME) A dog is completely a dog, and a dog in another place is also completely existing.
Explain relations. Relations involve two things (objects). A relation "to the left of" is a two-place relation, whereas a relation "in between" is a three-place relation.
What do properties and relations have in common? They both can be exemplified completely in two places at once.
What is a material / concrete object? An object in space and time.
Why isn't the number one a material / concrete object? What is it? Because it cannot be found. It is an abstract object. It is not in space (1+1=2).
Whatdo you call two words that have the same meaning? Substitutes
Finish the sentence: Chomsky is a ________. Linguist
Give a defnition that suits both externalism and realism. Properties, relations, etc. exist outside people's minds.
What is an externalist alternative to realism? Normalism
A set is defined by what? Its members
What is nominalism? Describing abstract terms as actual possible things.
What is internalism? The view that things are in your head, not outisde in the world.
Comsky describes language as what (think internalism)? Language is psychological, in the head (Chomsly).
What is a downfall of internalism? Might not understand words the exact same way than other people do.
What is Eblourne's solution to the misunderstanding issue from internalism? When we actually look at linguistic behaviour when we actually test people, we realize that they do actually speak slightlly different to each other, but there is sufficient overlap. They speak similarly, which is good enough for communication.
What is the prototype theory? Explains what is a word meaning and how does a child learn the meaning of a word? If a child is old enough, point to a dog and child will say "dog". eventually dog will say dog before you say dog.
Explain why the child will eventually call a "dog" a "dog". The brain is a kind of computer processor, and the processing is complex. So the kid (or kid's brain) forms a statistical picture of what dogs are like. Some sizesor colours are more unusual than others (ex: dog vs horse).
Finish the sentence: To communicate linguistically is to convey _______. Meaning
What is natural language semantics? The analysis of the meaning of words and sentences in natural languages like English and Japanese.
Give an example of artificial language. Computer programming
Who devoted obsessive attention to pinning down the meaning of philosophically interesting words such as knowledge, justice, truth and meaning between 129-399 BC (2 people)? Socrates and Plato
Semantics distinguish between the _______ and the ______ of terms. Extension, intension
Define extension in relation the "chairs". The extension of a chair is the set of all actual chairs.
Define intension in relation to "chairs". The intension is the set of possible chairs, allowing for all the possibilities of bizarre science-fiction scenarios.
What is propositional knowledge? Knowledge that something is the case (example: snow is white), as opposed to knowing (or being acquainted with) a place of a person.
For quite some time, what was knowldedge defined as philosophically? Who came up with this definition? Plato defined knowledge as "justified true belief"
Why is the definition "knowledge is justified true belief" wrong? Because it is possible to acquire true beliefs by accident (ex: the madman shouting true propositions that would be no better grounded than his belief that he is Napoleon).
Who wrote a 3-page paper arguing that justified true belief is NOT knowledge? Edmund Gettier
What scenario does Gettier write about to prove that justified true belief is not knowledge? Smith and Jones' job applying for same job. Belief that Jones will get the job and Jones has 10 coins in his pocket. Smith deduces that the man who will get the job has 10 coins in his pocket. But, Smith gets job and has 10 coins in pocket.
What is epistemology? The study of knowledge
What does Chomsky point out of "thing"? "SOme sticks lying on the ground constitute a thing if left there by a human being as a signal; but they are not a thing if left there randomly by a forest fire."
What does the tea bag example represent (Somone puts a tea bag in a large mass of water, someone else likes only dipping their tea bag in water for barely a second, therefore, is all the tap water now tea?)? It marks upon the important role that human intentions play in defining what seems at first to be a word for a straightforward physical object.
Who proved the point of "metal" not being possible to define, even by metallurgists? Robert Pond
What is wrong with defining "gold" as "the element with atomic number 79" Most people who know the word "gold" do not know that its atomic number is 79. It therefore implies that most competent English speakers do not know the meaning of the word "gold", which is false. And who decided that gold's atomic number is 79?
Why can't we define "gold" as its visible characteristics? Because of the existence of fool's gold.
What is wrong with stating that the meaning of a word is a definition? That would be to say that the meaning of a word is just more words.
The meanings of words are what enable us to what? Connect with the things around us in a word-world relationship.
What is the referential theory of meaning? It proposes that the meanings of words are simply things in the world; the meaning of a word just is what it picks out in the world (Iceland is that very island).
What is the main issue with the referetial theory of meaning? In order to provide things for all these words to pick out, theorists have to posit exisence of increasingly bizarre entities (ex: Santa Claus).
What is the internalist theory of meaning? Suggests that word meanings are most fruitfully thought of as ideas or concepts in our heads.
What is the main issue with the interalist theory of meaning? It allows for drastic failures in communication due to the possibility of concepts associated with words being different from one mind to the other.
What are referents? According to the referential theory of meaning, meanings are referents, or things that are picked out or referred to.
Is there any way to find referents for phrases like "is wise" and other predicates like "icy"? Yes, the idea is that the word wise refers to the property of being wise.
What is a property? An aspect or characteristic of something.
What does Plato claim of the different colors (red, green) all being properties of an apple? He claims, along with many other philosophers, that there is a property of being an apple, which all actual apples instantiate,
What is a universal? Something (ex: a property) that is present simultaneously in numerous different places at the same time.
What is a particular? The opposite of a universal; just an ordinary object that is not present in different places at the same time.
What is it for two things to be similar? It is for them to instantiate at least one property in common.
What is a general term? A general term is a word that is applicable to more than one thing. General terms stand for properties; nouns, verbs and adjectives such as apple, runs, wise and icy.
What are relations? Relations are also universals (like properties) but instead of being instantiated by just one object, wherever they are present, they are supposed to hold between two objects or more ex: seeing is held between the seen and the seer).
What is a proposition? It is the meaning of a declarative sentence.
Who created the Russelian proposition? Give an example of it. Bertrand Russell. The meaning of the simple declarative sentence "Elizabeth II is wise" is the ordered pair <Elizabeth II, wisdom>. The meaning of this sentence is true if and only if the first member of the proposition instantiates the second member.
What is an ordered pair and how is it indicated? An ordered pair is indicated by angle brackets (<...>), and derives from set theory; an ordered pair is a set of two things that has a first member and a second member.
What is a realist? Name one. Someone who accepts the existence of universals. Plato and many other philosophers are realists.
What is a nominalist? Name one. Someone who believes that there are no such things as universals. William Ockham was a nominalist.
Explain the Santa issue according to the referential theory of meaning. According to the referential theory of meaning, if Santa Claus does not exist, the name Santa Claus cannot refer to anything (and same goes for many other proper names).
How do believers of the referential theory of meaning justify the Santa Claus issue? Through the existence of abstract objects.
What is an abstract object? An object that is not present in space or time and do not engage in causal relationships.
What is nominalism? The view that there are no abstract objects.
What is platonism? The view that there are abstract objects (although it is confused if Plato even was an advocate of platonism).
Explain the epsitemological argument against platonism. Our acquiring knowldge about something is an event and, by definition, abstract objects do not participate in causing events; so any knowledge that we think we have about abstract objects is either pure confusion or a confusion of other kinds of objects.
In view of the referential theory of meaning, what is wrong with the sentence "Santa Claus does not exist"? The sentence "Santa Claus does not exist" is predicted to say of a particular existent abstract object that it does not exist, which must, of course, be false. But intuitively "Santa Claus odes not exist" is true.
Who said "Spoken words are symbols of mental experiences" and what does it refer to? Aristotle, referring to the internalist theory of meaning.
Who vouched for the internalist theory of meaning? Aristotle, John Buridan, John Locke and Noam Chomsky.
What is a mental lexicon? To Chomsly, it is a certain specialized mental apparatus that every human being is equipped with and that contains all the words we know.
What is the language faculty? The whole ensemble of an individual's language-specific mental apparatus (containing all the words we know and tells us how to arrange words in grammatical sentences).
According to Chomsky, words are mental entities that consist of which three parts? 1. phonological information 2. syntactic information 3. semantic information, or meaning
What does phonological information do? Tells us how to pronounce words.
What does syntactic information do? Tells us what part of speech words are and such things as whether they obligatorily take a direct object (in the case of verbs).
What is the semantic information? It is very intricate, since it must give rise to phonological and syntactic information when trying to give the definition of words, and it is nearly all inaccessible to consciousness.
What is numerical difference? Two seperate objects residing in different places.
What is numerical identity? Exactly one object.
Give an example of something numerically distinct but qualitatively very similar. Two new cars of the same make and colour.
Explain why Chomsky claims that there is, strictly speaking, no such thing as English, or Japanese, or any other natural language. If language is purely psychological, and individual speaker's language faculties are the only linguistic things there are, there is no seperate place for any seperate object "English".
What is John Stuart Mill's argument in response to Chomsky's claim that "word meanings are parts of words and are all in the head"? Mill argues that if word meanings are just ideas in our heads, it is not obvious how we can use words to talk about things other than ideas in our heads (ie. the outside world).
What is Chomsky's notion of "use"? He states that we use words rather like tools to talk about things in the world or focus attention on particular aspects of the world.
State and explain an advantage of the internal theory over the externalist theory. One advantage of the internalist theory is that it deals much more happily than the referential theory with terms like Santa Claus because in order to have a meaning for the proper name Santa Claus, all we need is the concept.
Who proposed the prototype theory? Eleanor Rosch
What is the prototype theory? The prototype theory says that the concept is a summary representation of features that the things in question can have, together with weightings indicating how important it is to have those features in order to fall under the concept.
Categorization criterion The final sum of weightings threshold at which we can judge that a certain object falls under the concept.
Give an example of the prototype theory in accordance to "birds". Weighted features: "feathered", "egg-laying", "winged". Low weighted features: "brown" (or any specific colour). Go through these features in the concept "bird" when presented the object. If it meets the categorization criterion, it is a bird.
What is compositionality? The principle of compositionality states that the meaning of a complex phrase is determined solely by the meanings of its parts and their syntactic arrangement.
What is productivity of language? We can produce and understand an indifinetely large number of novel phrases whose meanings cannot be listed seperately (phrase by phrase) in our mental lexicons
Who claims that the prototype theory fails to account for compositionality in a range of basic cases? Jerry Fodor
What is an example of failed compositionality in view of the prototype theory? The meaning that the prototype theory would give to "pet fish" cannot be derived systematically from the meanings that this theory would give to "pet" and "fish".
What is the typicality effect? The typicality effect states that individuals respond more quickly to typical examples of a category than they would to examples that are considered atypical.
Created by: jarnol33