Semantics for opaque contexts

Philosophical Perspectives 12:141-66 (1998)
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In this paper, we outline an approach to giving extensional truth-theoretic semantics for what have traditionally been seen as opaque sentential contexts. We outline an approach to providing a compositional truth-theoretic semantics for opaque contexts which does not require quantifying over intensional entities of any kind, and meets standard objections to such accounts. The account we present aims to meet the following desiderata on a semantic theory T for opaque contexts: (D1) T can be formulated in a first-order extensional language; (D2) T does not require quantification over intensional entitiesĀ­i.e., meanings, propositions, properties, relations, or the likeĀ­in its treatment of opaque contexts; (D3) T captures the entailment relations that hold in virtue of form between sentences in the language for which it is a theory; (D4) T has a finite number of axioms. If the approach outlined here is correct, it resolves a longstanding complex of problems in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language.

Author Profiles

Kirk Ludwig
Indiana University, Bloomington
Greg Ray
University of Florida


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