David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):473 – 494 (2008)
In this article I contrast in two ways those conceptions of semantic theory deriving from Richard Montague's Intensional Logic (IL) and later developments with conceptions that stick pretty closely to a far weaker semantic apparatus for human first languages. IL is a higher-order language incorporating the simple theory of types. As such, it endows predicates with a reference. Its intensional features yield a conception of propositional identity (namely necessary equivalence) that has seemed to many to be too coarse to be acceptable. In the most usual expositions, it takes the object of linguistic explication to be the sentence in a context, as in Kaplan, 1977. This last has led to recent speculations about 'shifted' contexts. IL may be contrasted with a more linguistically (representationally) bound conception of propositions and interpretation of their predicational and functional parts, and with the explication, not of sentences in contexts, but of potential utterances, relative to the antecedent referential intentions of their speakers. We may then advance, as an empirical hypothesis about all human languages, that contexts never shift, and propose that apparent counterexamples stem from the misconstrual of linguistically coded anaphoric relations, relations that are wanted independently anyway. Donald Davidson's posthumous volume Truth and Predication mounts a sustained criticism of the notion of predicate reference. This criticism is not decisive. However, it may put the ball in the other court, insofar as it asks for a justification of what IL takes as given. Elaborations of IL using structured propositions, recently defended in King, 2007, recognize the problem of predicate reference, and the correlative issue of the 'unity of the proposition'; but I do not see that they can do better than bite the bullet already bitten in IL. I agree with Frege's insight that full justification of predicate reference pushes the boundaries of natural language, and to that extent may not be found within the semantic (as opposed to general scientific) enterprise.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Joseph Almog, John Perry, Howard K. Wettstein & David Kaplan (eds.) (1989). Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press, USA.
Donald Davidson (1984). Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation. Oxford University Press.
Donald Davidson (2010). Truth and Meaning. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Synthese. Routledge 304 - 323.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Dirk Greimann (2007). Did Frege Really Consider Truth as an Object? Grazer Philosophische Studien 75 (1):125-148.
Alexandre Billon (2011). My Own Truth ---Pathologies of Self-Reference and Relative Truth. In Rahman Shahid, Primiero Giuseppe & Marion Mathieu (eds.), Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Vol. 23. Springer
Dirk Greimann (2008). Does Frege Use a Truth-Predicate in His ‘Justification’ of the Laws of Logic? A Comment on Weiner. Mind 117 (466):403-425.
Christopher Menzel (1999). The Objective Conception of Context and its Logic. Minds and Machines 9 (1):29-56.
Donald Davidson (2005). Truth and Predication. Harvard University Press.
Claudia Bianchi & Nicla Vassallo (2007). Meaning, Contexts and Justification. In B. Kokinov (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. 6th International and Interdisciplinary Conference, CONTEXT '07, LNAI 4635. Springer 69--81.
Nino Cocchiarella (2013). Predication in Conceptual Realism. Axiomathes 23 (2):301-321.
Phil Corkum (2013). Aristotle on Predication. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):793-813.
Richard Gaskin (2008). The Unity of the Proposition. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads76 ( #40,954 of 1,725,630 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #93,214 of 1,725,630 )
How can I increase my downloads?