25 Feb 2009

Vergauwen, A Metalogical Theory of Reference, Introduction, §5

by Corry Shores
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Roger Vergauwen

A Metalogical Theory of Reference: Realism and Essentialism in Semantics

Introduction: the Temperature of a Hot Topic

§5 Frege and Truth-Conditional Semantics

Transformational grammar was one line of development in semantics. There was another one running parallel to it: logical semantics. This field followed Frege. It applied Frege's general principles to natural language studies.

Logical semantics is concerned primarily with the concept of truth. This concept would create truth-conditions that would determine the conditions that would make a proposition true. These truth-conditions together would be the sentence's meaning. Consider Wittgenstein's famous claim: "To understand a proposition means to know what is the case if it is true." (Tractatus 4.024)

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

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