The True and the False

The Domain of the Pragmatic

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Pragmatics often begins by supposing that specifying and describing truth bearers is a proper task for semantics. The main thrust of the present work is to show why truth and truth bearers lie essentially beyond the descriptive reach of semantics, and to outline a theory of truth bearers as a proper and fundamental task for pragmatics. It is also common for treatments, or definitions of truth to be confused with substantive theories about truth bearers, with a variety of unfortunate results. This monograph suggests a way of separating these tasks, and shows how many problems are thus avoided. Some emphasis is placed on the generally universal — i.e., nonlanguage-specific — character of pragmatic topics, and of truth. These issues occasion a discussion of semantic paradoxes, and of several relativities in the notion of truth.

Subjects: Semantics; Pragmatics

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