Modality and Meaning

Modality and Meaning

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Part I of this book presents a theory of modal metaphysics in the possible-worlds tradition. `Worlds' themselves are understood as structured sets of properties; this `Ersatzist' view is defended against its most vigorous competitors, Meinongianism and David Lewis' theory of existent concrete worlds. Related issues of essentialism and linguistic reference are explored.
Part II takes up the question of lexical meaning in the context of possible-world semantics. There are skeptical analyses of analyticity and the notion of a logical constant; and an `infinite polysemy' thesis is defended.
The book will be of particular interest to metaphysicians, possible-world semanticists, philosophers of language, and linguists concerned with lexical semantics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 338 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20.57mm | 1,130g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1994
  • XXI, 338 p.
  • 0792330072
  • 9780792330073
  • 3,127,583

Table of contents

Preface. Sources and Abstracts. Part I: Modality. 1. The Trouble with Possible Worlds. 2. Three Conceptions of Possible Worlds. 3. Ersatzing for Fun and Profit. 4. Against Concretism. 5. Essences. 6. Fiction and Essence. 7. The Paradox of Naming Resolved by a Kinder, Gentler Theory of Direct Reference. 8. Relative Modality. Part II: Meaning. 9. Semantic Competence, Funny Functors, and Truth-Conditions. 10. Logical Constants and the Glory of Truth-Conditional Semantics. 11. Propositions and Analyticity. 12. Stipulative Definition and Logical Truth. 13. Analogy and Lexical Semantics. Bibliography. Name Index. Subject Index.
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