Modeling Truth for Semantics

Analytic Philosophy 61 (1):28-36 (2020)
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The Tarskian notion of truth-in-a-model is the paradigm formal capture of our pre-theoretical notion of truth for semantic purposes. But what exactly makes Tarski’s construction so well suited for semantics is seldom discussed. In my Semantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness (OUP 2017) I articulate a certain requirement on the successful formal modeling of truth for semantics – “locality-per-reference” – against a background discussion of metasemantics and its relation to truth-conditional semantics. It is a requirement on any formal capture of sentential truth vis-à-vis the interpretation of singular terms and it is clearly met by the Tarskian notion. In this paper another such requirement is articulated – “locality-per-application” – which is an additional requirement on the formal capture of sentential truth, this time vis-à-vis the interpretation of predicates. This second requirement is also clearly met by the Tarskian notion. The two requirements taken together offer a fuller answer than has been hitherto available to the question what makes Tarski's notion of truth-in-a-model especially well suited for semantics.
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First archival date: 2019-10-27
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