David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 12 (1):3-59 (2002)
This essay continues my investigation of `syntactic semantics': the theory that, pace Searle's Chinese-Room Argument, syntax does suffice for semantics (in particular, for the semantics needed for a computational cognitive theory of natural-language understanding). Here, I argue that syntactic semantics (which is internal and first-person) is what has been called a conceptual-role semantics: The meaning of any expression is the role that it plays in the complete system of expressions. Such a `narrow', conceptual-role semantics is the appropriate sort of semantics to account (from an `internal', or first-person perspective) for how a cognitive agent understands language. Some have argued for the primacy of external, or `wide', semantics, while others have argued for a two-factor analysis. But, although two factors can be specifiedâ-one internal and first-person, the other only specifiable in an external, third-person wayâ-only the internal, first-person one is needed for understanding how someone understands. A truth-conditional semantics can still be provided, but only from a third-person perspective
|Keywords||Computer Holism Science Semantics Syntax|
|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
William Rapaport (2011). Yes, She Was! Minds and Machines 21 (1):3-17.
Similar books and articles
Emar Maier (2008). What Syntax Doesn't Feed Semantics: Fake Indexicals as Indexicals. In Maribel Romero (ed.), Proceedings of the Esslli 2008 Workshop `What Syntax Feeds Semantics?'.
Arnim von Stechow (2012). Syntax and Semantics: An Overview. In Klaus von Heusinger, Claudia Maienborn & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton.
William J. Rapaport (2006). How Helen Keller Used Syntactic Semantics to Escape From a Chinese Room. Minds and Machines 16 (4):381-436.
Claire Horisk (2007). The Expressive Role of Truth in Truth-Conditional Semantics. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):535–557.
Shalom Lappin (ed.) (1996). The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell Reference.
Ralph Wedgwood (2001). Conceptual Role Semantics for Moral Terms. Philosophical Review 110 (1):1-30.
William J. Rapaport (1988). Syntactic Semantics: Foundations of Computational Natural Language Understanding. In James H. Fetzer (ed.), Aspects of AI. Kluwer.
William J. Rapaport (2000). How to Pass a Turing Test: Syntactic Semantics, Natural-Language Understanding, and First-Person Cognition. Journal of Logic, Language, and Information 9 (4):467-490.
William J. Rapaport (2003). What Did You Mean by That? Misunderstanding, Negotiation, and Syntactic Semantics. Minds and Machines 13 (3):397-427.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads102 ( #16,805 of 1,696,561 )
Recent downloads (6 months)25 ( #18,181 of 1,696,561 )
How can I increase my downloads?