25 Feb 2009

Vergauwen, A Metalogical Theory of Reference, Introduction, §2

by Corry Shores
[Search Blog Here. Index-tags are found on the bottom of the left column.]

[Central Entry Directory]
[Logic & Semantics, Entry Directory]
[Vergauwen's Metalogical Theory of Reference, Entry Directory]

[The following is summary. Paragraph headings are my own.]

Roger Vergauwen

A Metalogical Theory of Reference: Realism and Essentialism in Semantics

Introduction: the Temperature of a Hot Topic

§2 The History and Development of Semiotics

Ancient philosophers were aware that language may have many various functions.

But these functions were not studied systematically until John Locke fathered the field of semantics. He aimed to study the signs we use to understand and communicate things.

Semiotics blossomed into a full science under C.S. Peirce and C. Morris. It studied the fundamental structure of natural and artificial language sign-systems.

They distinguish three basic aspects of language:
1) signs,
2) that to which the signs refer, and
3) the user of the signs.

Semiotics developed three fields to focus on these aspects:
1) syntax,
2) semantics, and
3) pragmatics.

Syntax deals with "the mutual relationship between the elements in a system of signs.

Semantics deals with "the relation between signs and that which they represent."

Pragmatics focuses on "the relation between signs and those who use them."

Vergauwen will direct our attention primarily to semantics in this book.

Three questions are relevant in this treatment.
1) What is a meaning theory's precise form?
2) What is the nature of meaning's representation?
3) What is the relation between (linguistic) meaning and reality?

Because we are concerned with representation, we might divide semantics into
a) internal semantics, and
b) external semantics.

G. Klaus called external semantics by a different name: sigmatics. This field studies the relation between signs and real objects.

(page x)

Vergauwen, Roger. A Metalogical Theory of Reference: Realism and Essentialism in Semantics. London: University Press of America, 1993.

No comments:

Post a Comment