The Semantic Foundations of Philosophical Analysis


I provide an analysis of sentences of the form ‘To be F is to be G’ in terms of exact truth-maker semantics—an approach that identifies the meanings of sentences with the states of the world directly responsible for their truth-values. Roughly, I argue that these sentences hold just in case that which makes something F is that which makes it G. This approach is hyperintensional, and possesses desirable logical and modal features. These sentences are reflexive, transitive and symmetric, and, if they are true, then they are necessarily true, and it is necessary that all and only Fs are Gs. I close by defining an asymmetric and irreflexive notion of analysis in terms of the reflexive and symmetric one.

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Samuel Elgin
University of California, San Diego


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