Meaning without Truth by Stefano Predelli

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Stefano Predelli presents an original account of the relationships between the central semantic notions of meaning and truth. Part One begins with the study of phenomena that have little or nothing to do with the effects of meaning on truth. Predelli warns against what he calls 'the Fallacy of Misplaced Character', and is concerned with sentences such as 'there sometimes exist sentences containing exactly eight words', 'I am now uttering a non-contradictorysentence', or 'I exist'. In Part Two, he moves on to further cases which bear no interesting relations with questions of truth, but which, unlike those in Part One, have important repercussions on questions of meaning. The resulting 'Theory of Bias' is applied to expressive interjections (with a chapter aboutthe logical properties of 'alas'), to instances of register and coarse slang, to honorifics and nicknames, and to derogatory slurs. Part Three draws from the previous two parts, and argues that some notorious semantic problems ought to be approached from the viewpoint of the Theory of Bias. Predelli starts with vocatives, dates, and signatures, and introduces the notion of 'obstinate indexicality', which then guides his solution to Quine's 'Giorgione' puzzle, his version of the demonstrativetheory quotation, and his defence of the bare-boned approach to demonstratives and demonstrations.
Publication Date:
11 / 07 / 2013

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