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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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

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