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Events and Semantic Architecture$
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Paul M. Pietroski

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199244300

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199244300.001.0001

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Elementary Cases

Elementary Cases

(p.28) 1 Elementary Cases
Events and Semantic Architecture

Paul M. Pietroski (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

One can adopt a Fregean framework for semantics, according to which sentences are compositionally associated with conditional assignments of truth values, without adopting Functionist hypotheses about the semantic values of predicates. With regards to a large range of constructions, usually dealt with in the first chapters of standard textbooks, Functionism is no simpler than Conjunctivism. On a Functionist view, each predicate has exactly one semantic value — a set of a certain sort — while Conjunctivism fits better with the idea that a predicate can have many values. But various considerations, including vagueness, suggest that this difference is not merely notational; it may favor Conjunctivism. There are also independent motivations for appealing to the covert variables and thematic relations that Conjunctivists require. Functionists must appeal to these auxiliary hypotheses and more, given the need to accommodate both arguments and adjuncts.

Keywords:   semantic values, arguments, adjuncts, negation, connectives, sets, vagueness, Conjunctivism, Functionism

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