If semantics is the study of meaning, and meaning is reference, then how can there be any measure of the success of semantics that isn't a measure of it understanding of what reference is?
The first half of chapter 2 was concerned with the broader theory of language, rather than a semantic theory. In the second half of the chapter, Katz begins his sketch of the theory of semantics. It's at this point that I pick up my review.
(AKA Katz's Semantic Theory (Part IIIa). This post discusses chapter 2 of Jerrold Katz's 1972 opus. For my discussion of chapter 1, go here.) Having delineated in chapter 1 which questions a semantic theory ought to answer, Katz goes on in chapter 2 to sketch the sort of answer that a such a theory would give. … Continue reading On the general character of semantic theory (Part a)
If you've taken a semantics course in the past decade or two, or read an introductory textbook on the topic published in that time span, you probably encountered, likely at the outset, the question What is meaning? followed almost immediately with a fairly pat answer. In my experience, the answer given to that question was reference1---the meaning of an expression, say dog, is the set of things in the world that that expression refers to, the set of all dogs in this case.
(This is intended to be the first in a series of posts in which I work my way through Semantic Theory by Jerrold Katz) Through a somewhat meandering intellectual journey that I undertook when I probably should have been writing, I found myself reading the late Jerrold J Katz's 1972 book entitled Semantic Theory. While … Continue reading Katz’s Semantic Theory (Part I)