Semantics and Metasemantics

Intended audience: graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in the philosophy of language

Objectives: the aim of this seminar is to address certain foundational issues in the philosophy of language – in particular, to assess whether predicates and sentences have semantic values; to determine accordingly which of the two main competing approaches to semantics – truth theoretic semantics (TTS) and model theoretic semantics (MTS) – provides the best theoretical framework for semantic investigations; to investigate certain problem areas in philosophical semantics; and to establish the value of the distinction between semantics and metasemantics

Topics:

  1. The Problem of Predication and Truth Theoretic Semantics
  2. Tarskian Truth Definition, Semantics and Metasemantics
  3. The Inscrutability of Reference, Realism and Anti-Realism
  4. Intensional Semantics: Lewis and Kaplan
  5. Stalnaker’s Pragmatics
  6. Two-Dimensional Semantics
  7. Relativism
  8. Context-Sensitivity, Vagueness,  and Unarticulated Constituents

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