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Form and content in semantics


This paper continues a strain of intellectual complaint against the presumptions of certain kinds of formal semantics (the qualification is important) and their bad effects on those areas of artificial intelligence concerned with machine understanding of human language. After some discussion of the use of the term ‘epistemology’ in artificial intelligence, the paper takes as a case study the various positions held by McDermott on these issues and concludes, reluctantly, that, although he has reversed himself on the issue, there was no time at which he was right.

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Wilks, Y. Form and content in semantics. Synthese 82, 329–351 (1990).

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  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Formal Semantic
  • Human Language
  • Machine Understanding