Is there such a thing as “semantic content”?

Abstract
The distinction between the semantic content of a sentence or utterance and its use is widely employed in formal semantics. Semantic minimalism in particular understands this distinction as a sharp dichotomy. I argue that if we accept such a dichotomy, there would be no reason to posit the existence of semantic contents at all. I examine and reject several arguments raised in the literature that might provide a rationale for assuming semantic contents, in this sense, exist, and conclude that Ockham’s razor should be applied to these postulated entities. Since the notion of “semantic content” doubles both as what a semantic theory is a priori supposed to account for and as the product of that same theory, it is methodologically unsound to appeal to this notion to fend off criticisms of and counterexamples to semantic theories.
Keywords semantic content  use  formal semantics  semantic minimalism  methodology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Sergeiy Sandler, Is there such a thing as “semantic content”?
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.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Ernest Lepore (2004). A Tall Tale. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):3-28.
David Braun (2006). Kripke's Revenge. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 128 (3):669 - 682.
Emma Borg (2004). Minimal Semantics. Oxford University Press.
Radu J. Bogdan (1989). Does Semantics Run the Psyche? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (June):687-700.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-07

Total downloads

168 ( #4,692 of 1,101,974 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #7,598 of 1,101,974 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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