Comments on Stephen Yablo’s Aboutness
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This paper concerns Yablo’s theory of asserted content as it is developed in his new book Aboutness. Yablo’s central idea is that in order to specify the asserted content of a sentence, we have to subtract those parts of its full semantic content that concern irrelevant subject matters. The paper argues that it is doubtful whether Yablo’s account successfully deals with its most basic envisaged application: to account for a difference of apparent truth value in cases of ordinary presupposition failure. In addition, some doubts are raised concerning the success of the extension of Yablo’s account to fictional talk, the informativeness of identity statements, and ontological commitments of number talk.
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