Referential intensions: a logical calculus for synonymy
Abstract:
The "referential intension" of a term A is a "process"
(or "abstract algorithm") which computes the denotation of A, and
it provides a precise, mathematical modeling of "meaning" (Frege's
"sense") for fragments of natural language. The main emphasis in
this course will be on a simple "logical calculus for synonymy"
which is derived from this modeling, and which suggests answers to
some standard puzzles and problems in philosophy of language and
in linguistics.
Outline:
(1) The Fregean framework; Montague semantics and alternative
approaches; the simple, typed lambda-calculus with acyclic
recursion.
(2), (3) The calculi of reduction and synonymy, for terms,
sentences and utterances; direct versus immediate reference for
variables, proper names and demonstratives; comparison with
Kaplan's "character" and "content".
(4) Propositional attitudes; non-modal modeling(s) of belief and
knowledge.
(5) The simple, typed lambda-calculus with full recursion; meaning
and synonymy for non-denoting sentences (e.g., the liar).