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  1. Relational Approaches to Frege's Puzzle.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12429.
    Frege's puzzle is a fundamental challenge for accounts of mental and linguistic representation. This piece surveys a family of recent approaches to the puzzle that posit representational relations. I identify the central commitments of relational approaches and present several arguments for them. I also distinguish two kinds of relationism—semantic relationism and formal relationism—corresponding to two conceptions of representational relations. I briefly discuss the consequences of relational approaches for foundational questions about propositional attitudes, intentional explanation, and compositionality.
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  • Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
    Montague and Kaplan began a revolution in semantics, which promised to explain how a univocal expression could make distinct truth-conditional contributions in its various occurrences. The idea was to treat context as a parameter at which a sentence is semantically evaluated. But the revolution has stalled. One salient problem comes from recurring demonstratives: "He is tall and he is not tall". For the sentence to be true at a context, each occurrence of the demonstrative must make a different truth-conditional contribution. (...)
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  • Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118.
    In a series of recent works, Kit Fine, 605–631, 2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege’s puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege’s puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, (...)
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  • Structured Propositions and Trivial Composition.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    Structured propositions are often invoked to explain why intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. As the semantics is standardly developed—for example, in Salmon, Soames :47–87, 1987) and King :516–535, 1995), the semantic value of a complex expression is an ordered complex consisting of the semantic values of its components. Such views, however, trivialize semantic composition since they do not allow for independent constraints on the meaning of complexes. Trivializing semantic composition risks “trivializing semantics” Semantics versus (...)
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  • The Proper Treatment of Variables in Predicate Logic.Kai Wehmeier - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):209-249.
    In §93 of The Principles of Mathematics, Bertrand Russell observes that “the variable is a very complicated logical entity, by no means easy to analyze correctly”. This assessment is borne out by the fact that even now we have no fully satisfactory understanding of the role of variables in a compositional semantics for first-order logic. In standard Tarskian semantics, variables are treated as meaning-bearing entities; moreover, they serve as the basic building blocks of all meanings, which are constructed out of (...)
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