, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 61-102

Notes on naive semantics

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These notes are intended as a working report on material that is still in a very provisional formulation. Work on this material was supported in 1979–80 by a Leave Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and in 1980–81 by a Visiting Fellowship from All Souls College, Oxford. Previous versions of these notes have been circulating for some time and were the basis for talks given at Oxford and Keele Universities in 1980–81. subsequently, Dana Scott and Alasdair Urquhart put me on the track of the completely independent work which Anil Gupta had been pursuing during the same period. There is considerable overlap between “naive semantics” and Gupta's approach, both of which spring from a common concern: to modify Kripke's theory of truth so as to admit the classical valuation scheme. I am indebted to Steve Yablo for many discussions on topics covered in these notes, especially for helping me to-sharpen the distinction between grounding and stability; and to Saul Kripke for generous criticism and some telling counterexamples. I have benefitted very much from discussions with many people, including George Boolos, Michael Dummett, Bill Hart, Hans Kamp, David Lewis, John Mackie, Charles Parsons, Christopher Peacocke, Hilary Putnam, Dana Scott, Neil Tennant and David Wiggins. I also owe a special debt to the recent work of Tyler Burge [3], which played a catalytic role in the early stages of these investigations.