Towards a Semantics Based on the Notion of Justification

Synthese 148 (3):675-699 (2006)

Abstract
Suppose we want to take seriously the neoverificationist idea that an intuitionistic theory of meaning can be generalized in such a way as to be applicable not only to mathematical but also to empirical sentences. The paper explores some consequences of this attitude and takes some steps towards the realization of this program. The general idea is to develop a meaning theory, and consequently a formal semantics, based on the idea that knowing the meaning of a sentence is tantamount to having a criterion for establishing what is a justification for it. Section 1 motivates a requirement of epistemic transparency imposed onto justifications conceived as mental states. In Section 2, the formal notion of justification for an atomic formula is defined, in terms of the notion of cognitive state. In Section 3, the definition is extended to logically complex formulas. In Section 4, the notion of truth-ground is introduced and is used to give a definition of logical validity.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-004-6272-9
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Vison.David Marr - 1982 - W. H. Freeman.
Rules and Representations.Noam A. Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.
Elements of Intuitionism.Michael A. E. Dummett - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

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