Jean-Louis Hudry
Université de Neuchâtel
This paper shows that Aristotle's De Interpretatione does not separate syntax from semantics. Linguistic sentences are not syntactic entities, and non-linguistic meanings are not semantic propositions expressed by linguistic sentences. In fact, Aristotle resorts to a mental conception of meaning, distinguishing linguistic meanings in a given language from non-linguistic mental contents in relation to actual things: while the former are not the same for all, the latter are shared by everyone. Aristotle is not a modern logician, like Boole, Frege, or Russell, in so far as a mental conception of meaning does not reveal an abstract semantics for a syntactic language.
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DOI 10.1515/AGPH.2011.012
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