Download Donald Davidson's Truth-Theoretic Semantics by Ernest Lepore, Kirk Ludwig PDF

By Ernest Lepore, Kirk Ludwig

The paintings of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) remodeled the learn of that means. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, of the world's top experts on Davidson's paintings, current the definitive research of his broadly favourite and influential application of truth-theoretic semantics for average languages, giving an exposition and significant exam of its foundations and purposes.

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Extra resources for Donald Davidson's Truth-Theoretic Semantics

Sample text

Anxiety that we are enmeshed in the intensional springs from using the words ‘means that’ as filling between description of sentence and sentence, but it may be that the success of our venture depends not on the filling but on what it fills. The theory will have done its work if it provides, for every sentence s in the language under study, a matching sentence (to replace ‘p’) that, in some way yet to be made clear, ‘gives the meaning’ of s. One obvious candidate for matching sentence is just s itself, if the object language is contained in the metalanguage; otherwise a translation of s in the metalanguage.

Interpretive Axioms and Canonical Proofs It is evident that TRUTH0 meets the requirement of Tarski’s Convention T that it have among its theorems all sentences of the form [T ], [T ] s is true0 iff p, in which ‘s’ is replaced by a structural description of an object language sentence, and ‘p’ is replaced by a sentence of the metalanguage which translates the object language sentence, that is, all T -sentences for the object language. This is guaranteed by the fact that the object language expressions are assigned truth conditions using terms which translate them.

Atomic formulas are expressions consisting of a name followed by a space followed by a predicate. For example: Caesar is ambitious Brutus is ambitious Molecular formulas are built up out of atomic formulas using the logical connectives in accordance with rules (i)–(ii) below (illustrations are provided after each). A formula is an expression that is either an atomic or molecular formula. We use corner quotation marks, ‘ ’ and ‘ ’, to form descriptions of expressions. For example, ‘ (φ and ψ) ’ is read as ‘(’⌢φ ⌢‘ ’⌢‘and’⌢‘ ’⌢ψ ⌢‘)’ where ‘φ’ and ‘ψ’ are metalinguistic variables and ‘⌢’ is read as ‘concatenated with’.

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