Why Philosophers should do Semantics : a Reply to Cappelen

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):243-256 (2019)
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Abstract

In this paper, I address a series of arguments recently put forward by Cappelen Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8: 743–762 to the effect that philosophers should not do formal semantics or be concerned with the “minutiae of natural language semantics”. He offers two paths for accessing his ideas. I argue that his arguments fail in favour of the first and cast some doubt on the second in so doing. I then proffer an alternative conception of why exactly philosophers should continue to do formal linguistics which includes both semantics and syntax.

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Ryan Mark Nefdt
University of Cape Town

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