Download Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Semantics I: Sense and by Mario Bunge (auth.) PDF

By Mario Bunge (auth.)

In this advent we will comic strip a profile of our box of inquiry. this can be worthy simply because semantics is just too frequently fallacious for lexicography and for that reason pushed aside as trivial, whereas at different instances it's disparaged for caring with apparently shady characters equivalent to that means and allegedly defunct ones like fact. in addition our unique main issue, the semantics of technology, is a newcomer - a minimum of as a scientific physique - and consequently short of an creation. l. aim Semantics is the sector of inquiry centrally eager about that means and fact. it may be empirical or nonempirical. while delivered to endure on concrete gadgets, comparable to a neighborhood of audio system, semantics seeks to respond to difficulties bearing on convinced linguistic proof - similar to disclosing the translation code inherent within the language or explaning the audio system' skill or lack of ability to utter and comprehend new sentences ofthe language. this type of semantics will then be either theoretical and experimental: it will likely be a department of what was referred to as 'behavioral science'.

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Extra resources for Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Semantics I: Sense and Reference

Example text

The class of objects for which a statement or a theory holds true may be called its DEFINITION actual reference class. 38 CHAPTER 2 Since a scientific theory is a set of factual statements (with a deductive structure) every such theory has a reference class. This class is known or assumed to be nonempty. If the assumption has not yet been substantiated, then the theory itself may point the way to its referents. For example, a theory concerning a hypothetical extinct biological species will be instrumental in the search for fossil evidence relevant to the hypothesis.

Natural science-----,,~~Linguistics Physical input f/l 8 -----i~~. n ~ I Semantics--_~ Sentence ~ Sentence ~ Sentence IT1 CT2 Proposition p 0""3 Brain process Fig. 1. A physical stimulus cp, the brain process p (thinking) it elicits, and its linguistic outputs l1i. sentences expressing the proposition p. Propositions are not physical objects: they have no reality aside from brain processes - just as there is no motion independent of moving things. It is a fiction, albeit an indispensable not an idle one, to assume that, in addition to the factual items and independently of them, there is such a thing as a proposition.

For one thing it overrates the importance of notation and wording and therefore cannot account for the fact that any given proposition can be formulated in a number of different languages. g. logical) relations - not to speak of their form and content, which are likewise non-physical. ) Thirdly, for the same reason the Ockhamist is likely to multiply the number of entities without necessity, as he may take seriously Eddington's parable of the two tables: the layman's (concept of a) smooth table and the scientist's (concept of a) mostly hollow one, both denoted by a single word.

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