Inferentializing Semantics

Journal of Philosophical Logic 39 (3):255 - 274 (2010)
Abstract
The entire development of modern logic is characterized by various forms of confrontation of what has come to be called proof theory with what has earned the label of model theory. For a long time the widely accepted view was that while model theory captures directly what logical formalisms are about, proof theory is merely our technical means of getting some incomplete grip on this; but in recent decades the situation has altered. Not only did proof theory expand into new realms, generalizing the concept of proof in various directions; many philosophers also realized that meaning may be seen as primarily consisting in certain rules rather than in language-world links. However, the possibility of construing meaning as an inferential role is often seen as essentially compromised by the limits of prooftheoretical means. The aim of this paper is to sort out the cluster of problems besetting logical inferentialism by disentangling and clarifying one of them, namely determining the power of various inferential frameworks as measured by that of explicitly semantic ones
Keywords Inference  Proof theory  Model theory  Inferentialism  Semantics
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