Meaning &Truth

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Rezervă Categorii: , Cod: 381633Autor: Mircea Dumitru, Sorin CostreieData apariție: 11-08-2015


This collection is the result of the research and collaboration of the members of the eleventh research team within the framework of the project SOP HRD/159/1.5/S/133675 “Innovation and development in structuring and representing knowledge through doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships (IDSRC – doc postdoc)”. Our common goal was to pursue a philosophical investigation of meaning and truth. This theme was tackled from many angles, and using many methods, yet what reunites us is this interest in seeking to better understand the connection between meaning and truth. Crӑita Florescu was formally not part of the group, yet she participated at the workshops organized by our research team, and informally she participated at many of our meetings.

Constantin Brincus argues in his paper that valid inferences have epistemic significance, i.e., they can be used by an agent to enlarge her knowledge, and this significance can be accounted in model-theoretic terms. Brincus explain this epistemic significance starting from Carnap’s semantic theory of meaning and Tarski’s notion of satisfaction, and in this way he counters Dag Prawitz’s claim that a truth-conditional theory of meaning is not able to account for the legitimacy of valid inferences, i.e., their epistemic significance.

Sorin Costreie argues against Gideon Makin’s claim that Frege’s and Russell’s accounts of logic and language have in common a consistent overlapping portion. Makin takes as identical Frege’s distinction between sense and reference and Russell’s distinction between a denoting concept and its denotation. Exactly the investigation of this parallelism will constitute the purpose of his paper, and Costreie argues that Makin is wrong in maintaining this identification.

Oana Culache, in the context of multimodal communication, proposes a more comprehensive model of translation based on Aguiar and Queiroz’s work. This model can be found useful by semioticians interested in the meaning-making process within the multimodal framework. In Culache’s view, multimodality is a more active player in intersemiotic translation, and she proposes a more complex model for intersemiotic translation. The main conclusion of her paper is that multimodality can be used by scholars to better understand the meaning-making and translation process across different sets of signs or modes.

Mircea Dumitru discusses a new semantic framework, viz. semantic relationism, which is due to Kit Fine. This framework is a novel understanding of meaning through a representational semantics which takes into consideration the relations between linguistic items in addition to the semantic values that each item can be separately and independently assigned by the semantics of that language. The paper addresses the issue of a subtle distinction between compositionality and intrinsicality, endorsing the former and rejecting the latter. The whole program shows new, unexpected, and very profound connections between meaning, reference, truth, and mental content.

Crӑita Florescu shows in her paper why, how and against which objections it can be said that Frege’s understanding of truth never abandoned the basic intuition according to which “a statement is true only if there is something in the world in virtue of which it is true”.
Victor Gelan shows that, according to the Husserlian approach, the way in which the (psychical) act is conceived and defined as a lived, intentional experience plays an essential role in clarifying the distinction between the empirical-psychological level of consciousness and its eidetic or ideal level. He argues that the notion of act conceived in this manner had influenced and decisively determined the development of the entire Husserlian phenomenology and theory of knowledge. Another distinction he discussed in this paper is that between the descriptive and intentional contents of the act.

Mihai Hincu defends in his paper a perspectivalist semantic theory for sentences with predicates of personal taste in whose surface syntax the perspectival information is not profiled. After carving up the logical space of the main semantic theories, he discusses the relation between the context-sensitivity of the sentences in which predicates of personal taste occur, and the composition operation of their meanings. He shows that the natural language fragment containing subjective predicates does not threaten the principle of compositionality and that, in order to capture the context-sensitivity, more complex versions of this principle can be formulated.

Adrian Ludusan discusses one of the specific semantic proposals of ante rem structuralism, namely that mathematical discourse is to be taken at face value. Specifically, he focuses on explaining the mechanism of reference for singular terms in mathematical sentences. He argues that Shapiro’s account is in conflict with the literal interpretation of mathematical sentences.
Horia-Roman Patapievici presents in his paper the discovery of the physics of the Middle Ages, the complex and complicated manner in which this discovery was integrated into the historiography of science, and the failure of our cultural framework to integrate it.
Adrian Radu discusses some contemporary theories of freedom and attempts to find new ways to improve them by offering a new theoretical foundation.

Mihai Rusu’s paper examines Lowe’s arguments that aim to establish the basic incoherence of conceptualism, and shows why they are not conclusive. His analysis focuses on various ways conceptualist theories could be or have been developed. The paper also raises serious doubts about the viability of Lowe’s variant of essentialism, both as a metaphysical and an epistemological account of modality.

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