Lecture 1 Notes: Introduction to Course
Language is special
Word magic, tiny causes for huge effects.
Action at a distance, sentences true here because of events
there. Human vs non-human animals
Infinite scope, compositionality.
Language is not specia
Lecture 6 Notes: What is Meaning?
Referential theory of meaning doesn't work, it seems, because of the four problems. Descriptive
theories (Frege and Russell) deal with the problems, but there are devastating objections
(Kripke)! So were up a creek. The t
Lecture 3 Notes: Descriptions
Four puzzles for a purely referential theory of names (and more generally terms).
(1) Informative identity statements. Salt = sodium dichloride. Ludacris = Christopher Bridges.
(2) Meaningful non-referring terms. Jack Frost.
Lecture 5 Notes: Direct References
Epistemically necessary = knowable a priori. Metaphysically necessary = true in every possible world.
They come apart! 'This animal is a dog' is metaphysically necessary but epistemically contingent.
'Jack the Ripper, if
Lecture 7 Notes: Empiricist Theories
Last time, the idea that a sentence's meaning is the proposition it expresses. Three theories of proposition.
A singular or Russellian proposition is a complex of objects, properties, and relations (and perhaps more)
Lecture 4 Notes: Names and Descriptions
'The father of Charles II was executed' becomes
Someone fathered Charles II
At most one person fathered Charles II
Everyone who fathered Charles II was executed
x Fx &
y z (Fy & Fz y = z) &
y (Fy Ey)
Lecture 10 Notes Context Sensitivity
Types vs tokens. A sentence-type is context-sensitive iff not all tokens of it express the same proposition.
Sentence tokens go roughly with utterances. So another way to put it is, not all utterances of a given senten
Lecture 9 Notes: Truth-Conditional Theories
Looking at foundational theories of meaningtheories of how meaning emerges out of lower level
phenomena. For Grice, the phenomena are individual intentions. For Lewis, they're social conventions.
[N]o one is abl
Lecture 8 Notes: Psychological Theories
SEMANTIC theories of meaning say (i) what meanings are and (ii) the rules that govern them.
Directed at (i): Reference Theory, Idea Theory, Sense/Reference Theory, Verificationism, Proposition Theory.
Directed at (i
Lecture 2 Notes: Meanings and Reference
The Fido-Fido theory of meaning. A word means the thing it stands for. Is this right?
Incomplete sentences have meanings too.
o Sentences are not just lists of names; they are true/false, lists arent.
o Brutus kill