Chapter

What Model‐Theoretic Semantics Cannot Do

Ernest Lepore

in Meaning, Mind, and Matter

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199580781
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595264 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580781.003.0004
What Model‐Theoretic Semantics Cannot Do

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What form should a semantic theory assume? What kinds of procedures for presenting meaning and truth conditions should a semantic theory take if it is to characterize successfully the linguistic knowledge that distinguishes speaker form non‐speaker? Over the last several decades there has been a growing consensus among philosophers and linguists that model theory can provide an adequate theory of meaning for natural languages. This chapter argues that model theoretic accounts for natural languages are deficient as natural language semantics and that when one seeks to supplement them nothing short of an absolute truth theory will suffice.

Keywords: model theory; truth theory; truth conditions; semantic theory; natural language

Chapter.  8271 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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