Regarding https://cogsci.stackexchange.com/q/5663/4012.

The comment under the question states:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a question for the English SE, not CogSci

Why is/was it not about CogSci and off-topic? I do not expect an explanation to how it's on-topic on English.SE (highly doubt it though. More than I doubt it being off-topic here) because that is something I might want to ask on their meta to get an accurate answer.

With that question I was looking for an answer which sketches out details from a cognitive perspective. Though processes inside the brain.

That said, is the current more explicit and specific version of the question on-topic here?

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    I started the vote. The question was: "Should "just asking" in reply to as a reason for a question be considered to be a false statement?" This isn't really amenable to scientific analysis, I think, because the meaning of statements depend on much more than just the semantic content. The problem for me was that the question revolves around one specific sentence, which is why I suggested the English SE instead. An English analysis could base its answer on how the sentence is used in literature and culture and tell you whether it is generally sincere or not. Mar 25, 2015 at 20:41
  • @ChristianHummeluhr But that sentence/reply was not left in isolation open to interpretation. It's intend connotation, "for no particular reason", was mentioned in the question. Mar 25, 2015 at 22:32
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    I think there may be a nugget of gold in the question about ... I don't know. What I'm trying to say is that something answerable could probably be mined out of the question, but it would take a lot of deconstruction to say anything useful, and even then I'm still quite sure you would get a more satisfying answer on English. Mar 26, 2015 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


From my perspective, the problem of the question (at least the original one) was that it was focusing on the specific verbal expression:

Should "just asking" as a reason for asking a particular question be strictly considered to a (unrealized) false statement?

This seemed to be a question about the social meaning of a particular exchange, and in particular the social norms regarding its use (Is it o.k. to say "just asking" or should I better come up with a good/polite reason if we want to stay friends?). That's the domain of English SE.

Now, the revised question might indeed be closer to an answerable question. That is because the detailed question explanation shows that it is more about something general like:

Do we always know the reason for why we have a particular thought? Or, the different question: Do people sometimes say things without having the intention to do so?

In this case, the "just saying" expression would only be some illustrating example, but not the focus of your question. The revised question still doesn't really reflect this.

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