What Model-Theoretic Semantics Cannot Do

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


What form should a semantic theory assume? What kinds of procedures for presenting meaning and truth conditions should a semantic theory take if it is to characterize successfully the linguistic knowledge that distinguishes speaker form non-speaker? Over the last several decades there has been a growing consensus among philosophers and linguists that model theory can provide an adequate theory of meaning for natural languages. This chapter argues that model theoretic accounts for natural languages are deficient as natural language semantics and that when one seeks to supplement them nothing short of an absolute truth theory will suffice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeaning, Mind, and Matter
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophical Essays
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191595264
ISBN (Print)9780199580781
StatePublished - May 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Model theory
  • Natural language
  • Semantic theory
  • Truth conditions
  • Truth theory


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