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Situations and Attitudes cover

Situations and Attitudes

Jon Barwise and John Perry

In this provocative book, Barwise and Perry tackle the slippery subject of “meaning,” a subject that has long vexed linguists, language philosophers, and logicians. Meaning does not exist solely within words and sentences but resides largely in the situation and the attitudes brought to it by those involved. The authors present an unusually lucid treatment of important innovations in the field of natural semantics, contending that the standard view of logic (as derived from Frege, Russell, and work in mathematics and logic) is inappropriate for many of the uses to which it has been put by scholars. In Situations and Attitudes they provide the basics of a realistic model-theoretic semantics of natural language, explain the main ideas of the theory, and contrast them with those of competing theories.

John Barwise was a professor of philosophy, mathematics, and logic at Indiana University in Bloomington. John Perry is a profssor of philosophy at Stanford.

Translated into Chinese.


  • Preface
  • Part A Introduction

    • 1 Meaningful Situations
    • 2 Evidence for a Theory of Linguistic Meaning

    Part B A Theory of Situations

    • 3 Absrtact Situations
    • 4 Event-Types
    • 5 Constraints

    Part C Situation Semantics

    • 6 Sentence Meanings
    • 7 The Meaning of Singular Noun Phrases

    Part D The Attitudes

    • 8 Seeing
    • 9 Attitudes as Relations to Situations
    • 10 Representing Mental States and Events
    • 11 Further Directions
    • Appendix to Chapter 6: Determiner-Free Aliass
    • Appendix to Chapter 7: Singular Aliass

  • References
  • Notes
  • Index


ISBN (Paperback): 1575861933 (9781575861937)
ISBN (electronic): 1575867036 (9781575867038)

Subject: Linguistics; Semantics

Books by Jon Barwise (1942–2000)

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