Professor Kit Fine
Topics to be Discussed (Tentative List)
Course DescriptionWe shall deal with some fundamental problems of reference and meaning. These will include: the interpretation of variables and quantifiers in first-order logic; the semantics of proper names in ordinary language; problems of substitutivity in belief contexts; Frege's puzzle concerning identity; and Moore's paradox of analysis. I shall suggest that these problems cannot be properly solved without embracing a doctrine of semantic relationism, according to which there are relationships of meaning that cannot be reduced to the intrinsic meaning of the expressions between which the relationships hold.
We shall review the background literature; and the seminar should therefore be intelligible to those without previous background in the philosophy of language. However, we shall also attempt to cover the most recent research in the area and to spend time working out the details of the relationist approach.