- Lessons on sentential meaning from mediaeval solutions to the liar paradox
- Philosophical Quarterly
- Volume | Issue number
- 59 | 237
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
Fourteenth-century treatises on paradoxes of the liar family, especially Bradwardine's and Buridan's, raise issues concerning the meaning of sentences, in particular about closure of sentential meaning under implication, semantic pluralism and the ontological status of 'meanings', which are still topical for current theories of meaning. I outline ways in which they tend to be overlooked, raising issues that must be addressed by any respectable theory of meaning as well as pointing in the direction of possible answers. I analyse a Bradwardinian theory of sentential meaning as it emerges from his treatment of liar sentences, exploring where it requires more thorough elaboration if it is to be a fully developed theory of sentential meaning.
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