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# A problem of content: meaning (philosophy of language & logic)

Mon 3 Aug, 2015 06:02 pm
When one says the operation of meaning follows: symbol, context, content and reference... or all of these things in conjunction. One says that symbol "s" - in context - produces content "x" which references object "y"...
Content in this sense appears to reference the properties of "y". Or "x" is a set of properties, and non-properties which "y" necesarily contains.

"What is the "x" (content) for "y" (Obama)?" one might say.
"He is the president (p), a man (m) and he is not a republican (¬ r)"

And so the function of content and reference appears to be (roughly):

y ≡ [p ∧ m ∧ ¬r] ⊃
x ≡ [p ∧ m ∧ ¬r]:
y ≡ x

And yet when one says content is this what one actually means? As this appears to be the definition of content (through function). Which means one is only referencing other content to picture when one attempts to show content itself.

And how does one show content by reference when content defines reference... and with only a set of properties, which in turn, reference other sets?

Which means if the set we are referencing when we say Obama is '[p ∧ m ∧ ¬ r]'...
are we not simply referencing other content which makes up the picture of Obama? As dots of colour make up the picture of a television. Analagously, if one has wheels, spokes, pedals and so on... does one have a bycicle?

And if we reference 'x' and so '[p ∧ m ∧ ¬ r]'... and if each singular concept (['p' v 'm' v '¬ r']) references another...

Where 'x' is any content, 'x1' the content on which 'x' relies...

∀x [x1 ⊃ x] ∧ [x2 ⊃ x1…x3, x4, x5…xn!],
[xn ≡ x∞]:
[x ⊃ (xn v x∞)] v [(¬xn v x∞) ⊃ ¬x]

When one attempts to access the content part of meaning, or what one might call the most important part: one simply ends up referencing other content by reference ad infinitum.

And so is it correct to use the function: symbol, context, content and reference... when one cannot be expressed without causing what appears to be an infinite regression?
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fresco

1
Tue 4 Aug, 2015 01:05 am
@Isaac-A-Russell,
Try changing "object" to "mutual objective for subsequent actions of interlocutors".. This might model the non-representalist view of language...i.e. languaging as interactive behavior (ref: Maturana structural coupling)
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Isaac-A-Russell

1
Tue 4 Aug, 2015 03:07 pm
@Isaac-A-Russell,
If you are reading this... Post any thoughts: of course the constraints of propositional logic ('re: linguistics) but I thought it the clearest, most concise way to get the point across.
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