Contexts: Meaning, Truth, and the Use of Language by Stefano Predelli

By Stefano Predelli

Stefano Predelli involves the security of the conventional "formal" method of natural-language semantics, arguing that it's been misrepresented not just by way of its critics, but in addition via its finest defenders. In Contexts he bargains a basic reappraisal, with specific cognizance to the remedy of indexicality and other kinds of contextual dependence that have been the focal point of a lot fresh controversy. within the approach, he offers unique ways to a couple of very important semantic matters, together with the connection among validity and indexicality, the bounds of token-reflexive structures, the importance of contextualist arguments, and the translation of angle experiences. Contexts will make invigorating studying for all philosophers of language and lots of linguists.

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Extra resources for Contexts: Meaning, Truth, and the Use of Language

Sample text

Representational questions may well be easier, and less dependent upon speaker meaning, for ‘I’ and ‘now’ than for other instances of the genitive or for demonstratives (though 17 The relationship addressed by the genitive (say, the relationship between John and a certain car) may in fact be more strongly constrained than these comments may indicate; see Storto 2002. 36 $ Systems and their Inputs even this weaker claim should appear dubious by the end of Chapter 2). But why should such a presumed diVerence be problematic for the traditional approach?

The rejection of premiss (a) entailed by the Many Characters View also suggests a straightforward solution to the puzzle of apparently true utterances of (4): depending on the meaning with which they are used, the indexicals in question may end up picking up an individual a, location l, and time t, such that a may well fail to be in l and t. In a slightly diVerent version of the suggestion under analysis, proposed by Julia Colterjohn and Duncan MacIntosh (1987), the type of ambiguity at issue lies in the apparent fact that ‘here’ 5 This terminology is borrowed from Fillmore 1975.

They do, on the other hand, present precise conclusions pertaining to certain properties of a given utterance, on the basis of independently established hypotheses pertaining to the clause-index suitably representing it. As an immediate consequence, and as already perspicuously indicated in the passage from Quine cited above, they provide deWnite results pertaining to the relationships between certain items, on the assumption that whatever parameters may aVect their interpretations are assumed to be Wxed throughout the process.

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