David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (6):637-668 (2007)
This paper aims to argue for two related statements: first, that formal semantics should not be conceived of as interpreting natural language expressions in a single model (a very large one representing the world as a whole, or something like that) but as interpreting them in many different models (formal counterparts, say, of little fragments of reality); second, that accepting such a conception of formal semantics yields a better comprehension of the relation between semantics and pragmatics and of the role to be played by formal semantics in the general enterprise of understanding meaning. For this purpose, three kinds of arguments are given: firstly, empirical arguments showing that the many models approach is the most straightforward and natural way of giving a formal counterpart to natural language sentences. Secondly, logical arguments proving the logical impossibility of a single universal model. And thirdly, theoretical arguments to the effect that such a conception of formal semantics fits in a natural and fruitful way with pragmatic theories and facts. In passing, this conception will be shown to cast some new light on the old problems raised by liar and sorites paradoxes.
|Keywords||Formal semantics Semantics versus pragmatics Minimal semantics Compositionality Truth predicate Vagueness Liar paradox|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jaroslav Peregrin (1997). Language and its Models: Is Model Theory a Theory of Semantics? Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (1):1-23.
Jaroslav Peregrin (2008). Brandom’s Incompatibility Semantics. Philosophical Topics 36 (2):99-121.
Chris Fox (2005). Foundations of Intensional Semantics. Blackwell Pub..
Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (2005). Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances. Philosophica 75.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads78 ( #19,083 of 1,101,888 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #52,459 of 1,101,888 )
How can I increase my downloads?