MoL-2012-01: Ontological Commitment of Natural Language Semantics

MoL-2012-01: Denisova, Viktoriia (2012) Ontological Commitment of Natural Language Semantics. [Report]

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Abstract

This thesis considers ontological commitments from a semantic perspective. Quine's logic/language criterion for ontological commitment is a starting point for a discussion of correlations between ontological commitment and semantics. I discuss some peculiarities of Quine's criterion for ontological commitment, which is formulated for first-order sentences. I discuss two possible lines of criticism of Quine's criterion, which are raised by problems in its philosophical implications and by the limitations of the method of regimentation employed by Quine. I shift from extensional to intensional logical languages in order to explore the notion of ontological commitment as such. I investigate commitments within possible worlds semantics in order to identify the difference between ontological commitments depending on semantic framework we choose. Taking into account the results of a discussion centered on regimented discourse, I explore some difficulties concerning ontological commitments of natural language. In particular, I point out distinctions that must be drawn on the basis of one's purposes for determination ontological commitments. In this discussion, I highlight aspects of the correlation between a formal theory for semantic of natural language and ontology. This thesis presents a methodology for the investigation of ontological implications in natural language. It frames ontological commitments within semantic theories for natural language and draws distinctions between the types of commitments in natural language.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2012-01
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2012
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/867

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