Believing in semantics

Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (1):101--144 (1978)
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Abstract

This paper concerns the semantics of belief-sentences. I pass over ontologically lavish theories which appeal to impossible worlds, or other points of reference which contain more than possible worlds. I then refute ontologically stingy, quotational theories. My own theory employs the techniques of possible worlds semantics to elaborate a Fregean analysis of belief-sentences. In a belief-sentence, the embedded clause does not have its usual reference, but refers rather to its own semantic structure. I show how this theory can accommodate quantification into belief-contexts. I close with skirmishes against the threat posed by the Liar Paradox.

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John Bigelow
Monash University

Citations of this work

The redundancy of the act.John Collins - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3519-3545.
De re belief generalized.Maxwell J. Cresswell & Arnim Stechow - 1982 - Linguistics and Philosophy 5 (4):503 - 535.
Fregeanism, sententialism, and scope.Harvey Lederman - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (6):1235-1275.
Quotational theories of propositional attitudes.M. J. Cresswell - 1980 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 9 (1):17 - 40.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Logic, semantics, metamathematics.Alfred Tarski - 1956 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press. Edited by John Corcoran & J. H. Woodger.
General semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.
Translations from the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege.Gottlob Frege - 1960 - Oxford, England: Blackwell. Edited by P. T. Geach & Max Black.
Quantifiers and propositional attitudes.Willard van Orman Quine - 1955 - Journal of Philosophy 53 (5):177-187.

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