Semantics

Download The True and the False: The Domain of the Pragmatic by Charles Travis PDF

By Charles Travis

ISBN-10: 9027225125

ISBN-13: 9789027225122

Pragmatics usually starts off by way of supposing that specifying and describing fact bearers is a formal activity for semantics. the most thrust of the current paintings is to teach why fact and fact bearers lie primarily past the descriptive achieve of semantics, and to stipulate a thought of fact bearers as a formal and primary job for pragmatics. it's also universal for remedies, or definitions of fact to be pressured with great theories approximately fact bearers, with a number of unlucky effects. This monograph indicates a fashion of setting apart those initiatives, and exhibits what number difficulties are hence refrained from. a few emphasis is put on the commonly common — i.e., nonlanguage-specific — personality of pragmatic subject matters, and of fact. those matters social gathering a dialogue of semantic paradoxes, and of a number of relativities within the thought of fact.

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Additional resources for The True and the False: The Domain of the Pragmatic

Sample text

Notable among these are the properties of being true and being false. The reason for this is not merely grammatical. , because we do not say of such things as English sentences that they say such-and-such, or are THE BORDER WITH SEMANTICS 27 true (or false), though undoubtedly we do not. It is for the substan­ tive reason that what an English sentence means, even on a particular reading of it, does not determine enough information to allow us to know how to go about assessing anything as true of false.

That is at THE BORDER WITH SEMANTICS 35 least one non-objection to truth conditional semantics. ' Whether this is an objec­ tion or not depends on what sort of a someone we are imagining. Under­ standing (the speaking of) a language requires being able to disam­ biguate when called upon to do so: construing sounds as strings of words, construing strings of words as bearing one or another of the meanings which they might, construing references correctly, and much more. Speaking the language successfully means producing sounds, and thereby words which will, in the circumstances, be construed (or to be construed) as saying what one wished to say.

Of course, our understanding of what it is for a word to mean this, and our under­ standing the remark as saying 'ball' to mean that may very well depend, in one sense or another, on our prior familiarity with one word or an­ other which does mean that - just as our understanding of what require­ ment being a medium sized round object used in games imposes may rely on our previous acquaintance with cases where that condition was (or failed to be) met. But this is a comment on our current stage of the­ oretical development, and not on what is said in the 'translational' description.

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