Ideas from 'Why Propositions Aren't Truth-Supporting Circumstance' by Scott Soames [2008], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Philosophical Essays 2:Significance of Language' by Soames,Scott [Princeton 2009,978-0-691-13683-7]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand these ideas

19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
Semantics as theory of meaning and semantics as truth-based logical consequence are very different
                        Full Idea: There are two senses of 'semantic' - as theory of meaning or as truth-based theory of logical consequence, and they are very different.
                        From: Scott Soames (Why Propositions Aren't Truth-Supporting Circumstance [2008], p.78)
                        A reaction: This subtle point is significant in considering the role of logic in philosophy. The logicians' semantics (based on logical consequence) is in danger of ousting the broader and more elusive notion of meaning in natural language.
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics
Semantic content is a proposition made of sentence constituents (not some set of circumstances)
                        Full Idea: The semantic content of a sentence is not the set of circumstances supporting its truth. It is rather the semantic content of a structured proposition the constituents of which are the semantic contents of the constituents of the sentence.
                        From: Scott Soames (Why Propositions Aren't Truth-Supporting Circumstance [2008], p.74)
                        A reaction: I'm not sure I get this, but while I like the truth-conditions view, I am suspicious of any proposal that the semantic content of something is some actual physical ingredients of the world. Meanings aren't sticks and stones.