Understanding, proofs, and compositionality

In Michael Dummett’s manifestability challenge to truth conditional semantics, it is argued that the meaning of sentence cannot be its truth conditions, for then a speaker’s knowledge of the meaning would not in all cases be manifestable. In those cases, the speaker would not know how to find out whether the truth conditions are satisfied or not. By contrast, knowledge of what counts as a proof of a sentence would pass the manifestability test, since a speaker is supposed always to be capable of deciding whether or not a given object is a proof of a given sentence. There is a problem for the positive part, however, for there is no guarantee that a compositional proof-theoretic semantics in all cases provides knowledge sufficient for recognizing any proof of a provable sentence for which the meaning is given. In those cases, the speaker need not know how to find out whether a given object is a proof of the sentence. Hence, if knowledge of meaning is required to be manifestable, there is no guarantee in general is compositionally specifiable.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index


Total downloads


Recent downloads (6 months)


How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.