Analyticity and possible-world semantics

Erkenntnis 72 (3):295 - 314 (2010)
Abstract
Standard approaches to possible-world semantics allow us to define necessity and logical truth, but analyticity is considerably more difficult to account for. The source of this difficulty lies in the received model-theoretical conception of a language interpretation. In intuitive terms, analyticity amounts to truth in virtue of meaning alone, i.e. solely in virtue of the interpretation of linguistic expressions. In other words, an analytic sentence should remain true under all variations of ‘extralinguistic reality’ as long as the interpretation is kept constant. However, the received conception of an interpretation as a mapping from language to a model frame hinders keeping the interpretation constant while varying other components of the model. To make room for analyticity, the concept of an interpretation should therefore be revised. The latter should be made richer in content than it has usually been assumed. As a by-product, this revision also gives us a one-dimensional analogue of the influential two-dimensional account of a priori. We are thus able to map out the network of formal connections between the notions of analyticity, apriority, logical truth and necessity.
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References found in this work BETA
P. A. Boghossian (1997). Analyticity. In B. Hale & C. Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Blackwell. 331-368.
Rudolf Carnap (1959). Introduction to Semantics. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
Rudolf Carnap (1952). Meaning Postulates. Philosophical Studies 3 (5):65 - 73.

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