Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments


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Ostension: is the pointing to objects for the purpose of definition or description. A known problem is the indeterminacy or lack of uniqueness of the reference in pointing. For example, an object, its form, its nature, its history, its weight, etc., can be meant. See also Gavagai, pointing, to mean, indicative definition, definition, definability, statue/clay.

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
II 141
Ostension/Show/W-Questions/dual ostension paradox/Terminology/Hintikka:
Definition dual ostension paradox/Hintikka: E.g. someone comes into the room and asks, pointing to someone:
II 142
(6) Who is the man over there?
(7) I know who the man is over there
E.g. It's Sir Norman Brook.
(8) I know that the man there is Sir Norman Brook.
Now another person comes into the room, e.g. with a message and asks:
(9) Who of the present is Sir Norman Brook?
Paradox/Hintikka: the paradox is the double use of the interrogatives.
Wrong solution: it is not in a twofold sense of "is".
Solution/Hintikka: the solution is to accept two different methods of cross-world identification (public and perceptual).
(7) can thus be paraphrased:
(11) (∃x) Kl (the man there = x)
Quantification/problem: because a quantifier is dependent on the concept of the individual and because the concept of the individual is context-dependent in epistemic logic, we need different quantifiers.
Then, for example, (10) must be paraphrased as
II 143
(12) (∃x) Kl (Sir Norman Brook = x)
"(∃x)"/Hintikka: corresponds to the perceptual (see above: perspective identification). Corresponds to Russell's "acquaintance".

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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Hintikka I
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
Investigating Wittgenstein
German Edition:
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

Hintikka II
Jaakko Hintikka
Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-02-23
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