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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 11, 1985

George Englebretsen
Pages 281-318

Semantic Considerations for Sommers’ Logic

During the last twenty-five years Fred Sommers has developed a series of inter-related theories of language structure, ontological structure, logical syntax, and truth. Each theory has naturally contained valuable suggestions concerning semantic issues. But Sommers has not yet offered a specifically semantic theory. I attempt here to fill that gap by sketching a theory of semantics based upon his logical theses. The theory holds that terms, as used in statement making sentences, have both denotation and signification. Terms denote objects and signify properties. Terms, when quantified, refer to some or all of their denotations, and, when qualified, characterize the subjects to which they are predicated as having or lacking the properties they signify. The semantic, syntactic, and ontological theses presented in this theory are contrasted with those found in classical, scholastic, Leibnizian, Fregean, and Quinean theories.

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