Realism, model theory, and linguistic semantics

Abbott, B and Hauser, L (1995) Realism, model theory, and linguistic semantics. [Conference Paper] (Unpublished)

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George Lakoff (in his book Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things(1987) and the paper "Cognitive semantics" (1988)) champions some radical foundational views. Strikingly, Lakoff opposes realism as a metaphysical position, favoring instead some supposedly mild form of idealism such as that recently espoused by Hilary Putnam, going under the name "internal realism." For what he takes to be connected reasons, Lakoff also rejects truth conditional model-theoretic semantics for natural language. This paper examines an argument, given by Lakoff, against realism and MTS. We claim that Lakoff's argument has very little, if any, impact for linguistic semantics.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Language
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:256
Deposited By: Hauser, Larry
Deposited On:31 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53


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