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) reworked the research of that means. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, of the world's prime experts on Davidson's paintings, current the definitive learn of his greatly trendy and influential software of truth-theoretic semantics for ordinary languages, giving an exposition and demanding exam of its foundations and functions.

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Additional info for Donald Davidson's Truth-Theoretic Semantics

Example text

T ] s is true0 iff p. It is easy enough to characterize the constraints on a proof that guarantee that it draws solely on the content of the axioms, and so yields all and only the T -sentences for the theory. A canonical proof for TRUTH0 is, we suggest: (a) a finite sequence of sentences of our metalanguage for TRUTH0 the last of which is a T -form sentence (as above) containing no semantic vocabulary introduced by the theory on the right-hand side; (b) each member of which is either (i) an axiom, or (ii) derived from earlier members by Universal Quantifier Instantiation, Substitution, or Replacement as defined in §4, repeated here for reference.

Consider the effect of this first for the truth0 conditions for an atomic sentence. If we prove a T -sentence using just applications of Universal Quantifier Instantiation and Substitution, the expressions being substituted on the right-hand side of the biconditional translate those on the left, and we preserve the semantic form of the sentence. This ensures that the sentence used to give truth conditions (i) translates the object language sentence and (ii) is constructed from parts which translate the parts of the object language sentence, and are used in the same way in the metalanguage sentence as the corresponding object language terms are used in it.

Third, there is the question of the interpretation of the relativized truth predicate. It would be a mistake to interpret this counterfactually, as saying that if one were to utter the relevant sentence, it would be true. For we can evaluate a sentence such as ‘I am not speaking’ as true relative to a speaker and a time when the speaker is not speaking at that time, but an utterance of that sentence by that speaker at that time would not be true. The intent of the relativization is to evaluate the truth of the sentence relative to its interpretation given the contextual parameters as input to the rules that provide the contribution of its context-sensitive elements relative to context.

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