Frege on Definitions
A Case Study of Semantic Content
By (author) John F. Horty
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Frege on Definitions by John F. Horty
Book DescriptionIn this short monograph, John Horty explores the difficulties presented for Gottlob Frege's semantic theory, as well as its modern descendents, by the treatment of defined expressions. The book begins by focusing on the psychological constraints governing Frege's notion of sense, or meaning, and argues that, given these constraints, even the treatment of simple stipulative definitions led Frege to important difficulties. Horty is able to suggest ways out of these difficulties that are both philosophically and logically plausible and Fregean in spirit. This discussion is then connected to a number of more familiar topics, such as indexicality and the discussion of concepts in recent theories of mind and language. In the latter part of the book, after introducing a simple semantic model of senses as procedures, Horty considers the problems that definitions present for Frege's idea that the sense of an expression should mirror its grammatical structure. The requirement can be satisfied, he argues, only if defined expressions-and incomplete expressions as well-are assigned senses of their own, rather than treated contextually. He then explores one way in which these senses might be reified within the procedural model, drawing on ideas from work in the semantics of computer programming languages. With its combination of technical semantics and history of philosophy, Horty's book tackles some of the hardest questions in the philosophy of language. It should interest philosophers, logicians, and linguists.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195314410
(243mm x 160mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 10-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John F. Horty
Reasons as Defaults, Paperback (July 2014)
In this volume, John Horty brings to bear his work in logic to present a framework that allows for answers to key questions about reasons and reasoning, namely: What are reasons, and how do they support actions or conclusions?
Agency and Deontic Logic, Hardback (January 2001)» View all books by John F. Horty
John Horty effectively develops deontic logic (the logic of ethical concepts like obligation and permission) against the background of a formal theory of agency. He incorporates certain elements of decision theory to set out a new deontic account of what agents ought to do under various conditions over extended periods of time.
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Author Biography - John F. Horty
John Horty is a Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Agency and Deontic Logic (Oxford, 2001) as well as papers on a variety of topics in logic, philosophy, and computer science.
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