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Problems of Semantics : A Contribution to the Analysis of the Language Science - Ladislav Tondl

Problems of Semantics

A Contribution to the Analysis of the Language Science

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Published: 30th September 1981
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  • Paperback View Product Published: 30th September 1981
    Ships: 5 to 9 business days
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Ladislav Tondl's insightful investigations into the language of the sciences bear directly upon some decisive points of confrontation in modern philos- ophy of science and of language itself. In the decade since his Scientific Procedures was published in English (Boston Studies 11), Dr Tondl has enlarged his original monograph of 1966 on the promise, problems and achievements of modern semantics: the main topic of his later work has been semantic information theory. A Russian translation, considerably expanded as a second edition, was published in 1975 (Moscow, Progress Publishers) with an appreciative critical commentary, in the form of a conclusion, by Professor Avenir I. Uemov of Odessa. Indeed many Soviet studies in the problems of the semantics of science show the same sort of philosophical curiosity about the relationship of meanings in scientific language to pro- cedures in scientific epistemology that characterizes Tondl's work, as in the work of Mirislav Popovich (Kiev) and Vadirn Sadovsky (Moscow) and their colleagues. But we know that interest in these matters is world-wide, ranging from such classical topics as sense and denotation, empiricist reduction, vagueness and denotational opacity, to the new and equally exciting topics of the semantics of non-unique preference choices, the nuances of informational synonymity, and the semantics of a picture shape (so briefly but beautifully sketched in Tondl's dense and promising last chapter). We are pleased to have had Tondl's kind cooperation in producing this English edition, actually a third edition, of his research about semantics.

I. The Semantic Problem-Sources and Themes.- II. The Concept of Semantics and Prerequisites for the Investigation of Semantic Problems.- 1. The Concepts of Object Language and Metalanguage.- 2. The Semantic Level of Analysis and its Relations to the Syntactic and Pragmatic Levels.- III. Semantic Concepts.- 1. Semantic Concepts and their Relations in Common Parlance.- A. Express, state that.- B. Signify.- C. Denote.- D. Represent.- 2. Semantic Concepts in Formalised Languages.- A. The Concept of a Formalised Language.- B. The Interpretation of a Formalised Language.- C. The Introduction of Semantic Concepts by Definition.- D. The Axiomatic Introduction of Semantic Concepts.- IV. The Semantics of Logical Concepts.- 1. Problems of L-Semantics.- A. The Introduction of L-Concepts as Non-Defined Terms.- B. The Concepts of 'Logical Range' and 'State Description'.- C. The Concepts of 'Logical Content' and 'Semantic Information'.- D. Meaning Postulates.- 2. The Semantics of Logical Concepts on the Basis of the Concept of Interpretation.- A. The Concepts of Model and Interpretation.- B. The Most Important Definitions of Logical Semantic Concepts on the Basis of 'Interpretation'.- C. The Concept of 'Translation'.- V. Sense and Denotation.- 1. Frege's Conception of Sense and Denotation.- A. Sense, Denotation and the Identity of Names.- B. The Concept of 'Name'.- C. Frege's Extension of the Semantic Characterisation of Names.- 2. The Theory of Descriptions.- A. The Concept of Denoting Phrase.- B. The Differentiation of Descriptions.- C. Individual Descriptions and Statement Functions.- 3. The Method of Extension and Intension.- A. The Concepts of 'Class' and 'Property'.- B. The Concepts of 'Extension' and 'Intension'.- C. Extensional and Intensional Context.- D A Possible Amplification of the Method of Extension and Intension.- 4. The Problem of Naming.- A. The Name Relation.- B. Antinomies of the Name Relation.- 5. Synonymity.- A. The Concept of 'The Same Meaning'.- B. Synonymity, Intension and Intensional Isomorphism.- C. Synonymity, Pragmatic Intension and Pragmatic Criteria.- VI. The Criterion of Sense.- 1. The Formulation of the Problem.- A. Conceptions of a Criterion of Sense.- B. The Criterion of Sense and the Problem of Linguistic and Sense Intension.- 2. The Operationist Criterion of Sense.- A. Einstein's Definition of Simultaneity and the Operationist Criterion of Sense.- B. Critical Comments on the Operationist Criterion of Sense.- 3. The Verifiability Criterion of Sense.- A. Motives for the Original Version of the Verifiability Criterion.- B. Different Degrees of the Verifiability Criterion.- C. The Logical Nature of the Verifiability Criterion.- 4. The Translatability Criterion of Sense.- A. The Concept of 'Having a Sense' as a Primitive Concept of the Semantic Metalanguage.- B. Pragmatic Limitations of the Translatability Criterion.- C. The Concept of 'Having a Sense' as a Many-Place Predicate.- 5. Sense and the Empirical.- A. The Concept of 'Empirical Predicates'.- B. Dispositional Predicates.- 6. 'Theoretical Concepts' and the Relativity of the Empirical Starting Point.- A. The Problem of Scientific Empiricism.- B. The Admissibility of Theoretical Concepts.- C. Ways of Interpreting Theoretical Concepts.- 7. Problems of Sense and Reduction Procedures.- A. A Critique of Empiricist Reductionism.- B. The Ontological Aspect of Reduction; the Theory of Levels.- C. The Semantic and Pragmatic Aspects of Reduction.- VII. Vagueness.- 1. Vagueness and the Un-Sharpness of Boundaries.- A. Vagueness and the Empirical.- B. Vagueness and Theoretical Concepts and Constructions.- C. Vagueness and the So-Called Fringe.- 2. Sources of Vagueness and Ways of Analysing Vagueness.- A. The Pragmatic Aspects of Vagueness.- B. The Semantic Aspects of Vagueness.- 3. Vagueness, Ambiguity and Denotational Opacity.- A. Ambiguity.- B. Denotational Opacity.- C. Extremes and Graduated Differences.- VIII. Semantics and Some Problems of Ontology.- 1. Semantics and Ontic Decision.- A. The Use of Terms and Ontic Commitments.- B. Linguistic Framework and So-Called External and Internal Questions.- 2. Nominalism, Platonism and Semantics.- A. The Reification of Abstract Entities and the Problem of Nominalism.- B. 'Praeter Necessitatem'.- C. The Problem of Similarity and Identity.- 3. Analytical and Synthetic Aspects in the Language of Science.- A. The Traditional Problems and Tasks of Semantics.- B. Degrees of Analyticity.- C. Some Methodological Problems.- IX. An Outline of the Evaluation of the Results of Scientific Activity in Terms of Semantic Information.- 1. The Scope for Evaluating Scientific Results.- 2. Brillouin's Attempt at an Informational Evaluation of Scientific Laws.- 3. Linguistic Devices in Tasks of the Systematising Type.- 4. The Concept of 'Decision Base' and the Evaluation of a Decision Base.- 5. The Relevance of A Posteriori Data.- 6. Evaluation of the Goal Complex and the Concept of 'Epistemic Gain'.- X. The Semantics of Preference Attitudes.- 1. The Role of Preference and Preference Ordering.- 2. The Comparability Principle as a Presupposition for the Construction of a Preference System.- 3. Preferences of Things and Preferences of States of Affairs.- 4. Preference 'Ceteris Paribus'.- 5. The Concept of 'Preferable States of Affairs' as a Qualitative Concept.- 6. Preference as a Propositional Attitude.- Conclusions.- XI. The Problem of Informational Synonymity.- 1. The Traditional (Leibnizian) Criterion of Identity and the Problem of Semantic Identification.- 2. The 'Salva Veritate' Criterion.- 3. The Criterion of 'Salva Relatione' and the Concept of 'Informational Synonymity'.- 4. Informational Relevance and the Concept of 'Strict Informational Synonymity'.- XII. An Outline of the Semantic Evaluation of Graphic Communication.- 1. Introductory Remarks.- 2. Graphic Communication.- 3. The Semantics of a Picture Shape.- 4. Informational Synonymity and the Informational Evaluation of a Picture Shape.- 5. Informational Synonymity and the Time Factor.- Notes.- References.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.

ISBN: 9789027701480
ISBN-10: 9027701482
Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science (Hardcover)
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 407
Published: 30th September 1981
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 2.18
Weight (kg): 0.59