Monday, June 20, 2011

Workshop on Semantic Content

Workshop on Semantic Content
4-6 November 2011
University of Barcelona

Semantic theories provide a systematic description of the meanings of
the sentences of particular natural languages, or at least of
simplified models of such languages, for a number of explanatory
purposes. The notion of the content of, or proposition expressed by, a
sentence is central to most semantic theorising: the predictions a
semantic theory yields concern which semantic content (or which
proposition) each sentence expresses in a possible context of use.

In the last ten years or so, philosophers and semanticists have
engaged in a debate about the best way to model various forms of
context dependence. One of these is the debate about whether the
semantic contents of sentences can contain so-called ¨unarticulated
constituents¨. Another debate is about the question whether the truth-
values of semantic contents should be relativized to novel parameters.
These disputes cannot be resolved without a clarification of the
notion of a semantic content that is central to the disputes.

The workshop aims to re-assess the motivation for the notion of
semantic content both historically and in the light of current
theorizing, in order to articulate the theoretical role and purpose of
this notion (if any), and in order to make progress in resolving
disputes about the correct semantic content of sentences of various
problematic kinds.

Invited Plenary Speakers:

Anne Bezuidenhout (University of South Carolina)
Delia Fara (Princeton University)
Robert Stalnaker (MIT)
Jason Stanley (Rutgers University)


Contributions are invited in one of two forms:
EITHER a 1000 word extended abstract which provides information not
just about the conclusions but also about the line of argument
OR a full paper of up to 4000 words.
Full papers are preferred and will have an advantage in the
competition with mere abstracts.

Papers prepared for blind review should be sent to by 30 June 2011. We are applying
for funding to cover speakers' accommodation costs.

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