Two‐Dimensional Semantics

David J. Chalmers

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199552238
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577451 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Two‐Dimensional Semantics

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Two-dimensional approaches to semantics, broadly understood, recognize two ‘dimensions’ of the meaning or content of linguistic items. On these approaches, expressions and their utterances are associated with two different sorts of semantic values, which play different explanatory roles. Typically, one semantic value is associated with reference and ordinary truth-conditions, while the other is associated with the way that reference and truth-conditions depend on the external world. The second sort of semantic value is often held to play a distinctive role in analyzing matters of cognitive significance and/or context-dependence. In this broad sense, even Frege's theory of sense and reference might qualify as a sort of two-dimensional approach.

Keywords: two-dimensional semantics; linguistic items; expressions; utterances; semantic values; truth-condition; context-dependence

Article.  16935 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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