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1

This is usually discussed under the label 'the semantic scope of negation'. If you use curly brackets to enclose a semantic unit, this becomes clear. Your first meaning has the semantic structure {not + {John came}} + {because of the rain}, and the second has the semantic structure {not + {John came because of the rain}}. As Jim noted, the meaning is often ...


1

The ambiguity occurs because of the way that adjectives bind to the (normally) closest phrase. Consider a parallel: I still have sand in my shoes from Hawaii. What is from Hawaii? The sand or the shoes? (Edit 1. Note that there is an ambiguity in the sentence that does not involve negation.) When I read the example, the first interpretation came to ...


4

A fuller quotation is: Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Simply suppose you were a member of Congress. And suppose you started-up what you believed to be your faculties, and worked out the draft of a law to cover the needs of some industry or other which you did not know anything ...


-3

I dont believe stepping on a crack will break my mothers back. I believe stepping on a crack will not break my mothers back. Equivalent. Even tho language useage wise the former feels less commital


1

In effect, they are holding one thing stable and making the other variable. "I believe x is not y" is focused on the value of x and its relationship to y. The positive statement of "I believe" is not in question, we are making a statement about the value of the relationship. "I do not believe that x is y" is focused on your belief. The positive statement ...


0

It's not contradictory, just false. The statement is really broken up into two logical statements. One, that Harry cannot live while Voldemort survives. The other, that Voldemort cannot live while Harry survives. This (if we knew nothing about the truth of falsity of the world) would make sense, and could very well be true. The logical conclusion to this ...


0

Tricky question. This isn't a question about logic, or equality, but about epistemology and belief. I don't believe the Eiffel tower is tall to I believe the Eiffel tower is not tall As statements about your beliefs, these sentences are not equivalent. The latter asserts a positive statement. The former is weaker. You are merely denying a ...


0

I can only see one interpretation for the first statement: "I believe that x does not equal y" means that in my opinion, x is definitely not equal to y. The second statement ("I don't believe that x equals y") could mean any of the following: In my opinion, x is definitely not equal to y. (Same as the first statement). I don't have sufficient evidence to ...


1

Interesting that there are essentially two sets of answers: "Yes, they are the same in common usage" "No, they are not the same as anyone with a basic understanding of logic knows" The mere fact that you have two sets of answers proves that the statements are not the same as asked by the question title. The difference is that their interpretation may ...


4

No. They do not mean the same thing in general. This response may be more mathematical than what you are looking for, but I see others attempting to apply straight logic so here goes a answer using Modal Logic. A lot of the answers are attempting to apply propositional logic to the analysis of these statements, however the problem is that 'belief' is not ...


5

Think, believe, seem, appear, likely, and many other predicates involving probability judgements are in the class of predicates subject to what's called Negative-Raising. Essentially, these verbs (or predicate adjectives) are transparent to negation, and it doesn't make any difference whether an overt negative appears downstairs, in their complement She ...


7

I consider the use in English to be ambiguous enough in the minds of the average reader that alternative meanings must be considered and analysed, and the following enumerates those meanings and reasons about them... I believe x does not equal y This is ambiguous, as - using symbolic notation to help show the difference - it may mean x != y or !(x = ...


5

The fact is, they are both very commonly used to mean exactly the same thing. English is packed with many (slightly confusing) double-negatives, triple-negatives, and other messy constructions. (And then you have stuff like "it's awfully nice.") The problem with what Ork. is saying, is, Ork. is talking as a mathematician and a logician. Unfortunately, ...


39

No, strictly, they do not convey the same meaning. In practice, your second sentence is often used to mean the first. I believe x does not equal y means that you actually hold a belief about the inequality of x and y. I don't believe that x equals y simply means that a belief about the equality exists, but you do not share that belief. If you substitute ...


0

I think that this Nazi reasoning given to us by Joseph Goebbles, even in translation, has been read in English print long enough for it to qualify as a common English Phrase. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/goebbelslie.html If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can ...


0

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit is the ancient Roman legal concept that "the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies" is actually a better way of describing what is not happening when somebody is presumed guilty. Regardless of any libel suit for damages in Common Law following countries like mine the judge (in the absence of minimum ...


-1

This is related to the problem of induction taking form in the presentation that the Mexican cartels have weapons that are as evil as those who are using them. This dehumanizes the eventual casualties by the media as well as reassures/reinforces for the population an idea that the Mexican Cartel in question has any entailment to the actual situation. The ...


-2

The responder is a politician, this is a special breed of human that is able to ask inane off topic questions that are irrelevant to a conversation while avoiding answering the question that required a direct answer in order to move the conversation forward. The politician often employs similar feats of avoidance with techniques such as kissing babies, ...


0

What you have asked versus the example that you gave are 2 unrelated things. Some good answers have been posted about your example. Personally I believe that, as an earlier poster mentioned, segue pretty much "hits the nail on the head". However, your question is not talking about this at all. To relate your example with your question the respondent ...


0

floundering (v.) — to proceed to act clumsily or ineffectually (if he doesn't know the answer). obfuscation (v.) — to make obscure or confuse (if he knows the answer). smoke screen (n.) — something designed to obscure, confuse or mislead.


3

The term is conversational implicature. The responder has inferred from the questioner's question that the relevant topic of conversation is "How can I get to a place serving fast food quickly?" and answered appropriately.


0

The main thing which the person has done is not some technical manipulation of a question; this person has tried steer the conversation to his favorite topic -- himself, and his opinions and preferences -- by dropping a shift response. There doesn't seem to be a glib word or phrase for "attempt to steer conversation toward oneself", though. In general, ...


15

One relevant term from logic: red herring — The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. Specific forms of red herring exist and I find that appeal to motive fits nicely: appeal to motive — Appeal to motive is a pattern of argument which consists in challenging a ...


5

I'm not entirely sure that this is the word you're looking for, but it's a good place to start: non sequitur Look under the section called In everyday speech. The response in you post doesn't prerfectly qualify as a non sequitur, though, because there actually is some connection to the original question. The link points to a concept called derailment ...


10

You might consider this as a case of ignoratio elenchi, where an irrelevant argument is presented as an answer to the question at hand: Ignoratio elenchi, also known as irrelevant conclusion, is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may or may not be logically valid, but fails nonetheless to address the issue in question. [...] ...



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