Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Question: a sentence within a communication context that requires one or more further sentences (see also answers). The question in many languages is characterized by a slightly altered word position, as opposed to the corresponding sentence, as well as an attached or pre-set symbol (question symbol). A response is not guaranteed and does not have to be done so that a question retains its form and content. See also statements, commands, sentences, speech act theory.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Fractures I 137
Questions/Belnap/Fraassen: ((FN 37): Theory of the questions: the theory is based on a theory of propositions, which we assume here, a question is an abstract entity.
I 138
Interrogative: as a sentence expresses a proposition, a question expresses an interrogative.
Answer: almost anything can be an answer to a question that depends on the context.
But nevertheless, not everything is an answer. This is gradual.
Answer/types/Belnap/Fraassen: E.g.
Can you get to Victoria by ferry and by plane?
(A) yes
(B) Definition direct response: you can get to Victoria by ferry as well as by plane. ((s) Repeats the proposition (the interrogative). "Yes" is a code for a direct response.
(C) Definition partial response: you can take the ferry to Victoria
(D) says more: you can do both, but you should not miss the ferry.
(E) You can of course take the ferry to Victoria and you should not miss this. (We leave this unclassified at first).
Answer "tout court"/Fraassen: one should resist the temptation to call a response simply a combination of a partial response and additional information.
Definition partial answer/Belnap/Fraassen: a partial answer is a proposition implied by a direct answer (which repeats the question).
Definition complete answer: a complete answer is a proposition that implies itself a direct response. (A repetition of the proposition). (Implication, X is implied by A/Y implies A itself).
Definition containing questions/Belnap/Fraassen: a question Q contains a different question Q' if Q' is answered, as soon as Q is answered. That is, every complete answer to Q is also a complete one to Q'.
Definition Empty question/Belnap/Fraassen: a question is empty, if all their direct answers are necessarily true.
An empty question is included in all questions.
Definition foolish question/Belnap/Fraassen: ("foolish"): a foolish question is present if none of its answers can be true.
For example, did you wear a hat that was both black and not black, or one that was white and not white?

A foolish question involves all questions.

Definition dumb question/Belnap/Fraassen: ("dumb" also "stupid"): a dumb question is present if there is no direct answer to them: E.g. which three different primes are there between 3 and 5?
I 140
Presupposition/Questions/Belnap/Fraassen: a presupposition is an important semantic term: what is assumed by a question?
For example, the two direct answers "I wore the black hat" "..the white .." could both be wrong. Then you can answer "neither nor", which has not yet been considered.
Definition Presupposition/Questions/Belnap/Fraassen: of Question Q is any proposition implied by all direct answers to Q. (FN "40").
Definition Corrections/Questions/Belnap/Fraassen: of Q is the denial of any presupposition of Q.
Definition basic presupposition/questions/Belnap/Fraassen: a basic presupposition is the proposition, which is true, iff. a direct answer to Q is true.
Answer/Belnap/Fraassen: there is another kind: e.g. "I did not wear the white hat": this is not even a partial answer: neither is it implied by a direct answer because I could have worn both hats yesterday, one after the other.
On the other hand, because the questioner makes the presupposition that at least one of the hats was worn, the answer to him is a complete one. Because the answer plus presupposition together include the direct answer that she wore the black hat.

Definition relatively complete answer/Belnap/Fraassen: a relatively complete answer is a proposition which, together with the presupposition of Q, implies a direct response to Q.
I 141
Interrogative/Belnap/Fraassen: which question is expressed by it is strongly context-dependent. Partially, because index words are usually found in them. E.g. "Which one do you want?". Here the context determines what is possible at all.

Definition elementary questions/Belnap:
A) "If" questions.
B) "What/Which" questions.
Set of direct responses: is specified by two factors:
1. Set of alternatives ("theme")
2. Desire for selection.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Beln I
N. Belnap
Facing the Future: Agents and Choices in Our Indeterminist World Oxford 2001

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-06-19