25 Feb 2009

Vergauwen, A Metalogical Theory of Reference, Introduction, §3

[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

§3 Frege's Semantics

In semiotics, languages are sign systems. "In its most abstract form, such a system can assume the form of a logic." (x .d) Hence logic has become increasingly important in semiotics.

In the 19th century, logician Gottlob Frege emphasized logic's importance to semantics.

We usually consider semantics as the linguistic study of word, phrase, and sentence meanings. However, Frege considered semantics to be concerned with the relation between
a) non-interpreted logical calculus signs, and
b) their possible interpretations.

Frege made a unique and substantial contribution to semantics. He created a first-order logic along with its semantics and ontology.

By means of Frege's work, later Anglo-Saxon philosophy would analyze natural language using the model of logical semantics.

(page x-xi)

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

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