Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Compositionality, linguistics, language philosophy: the thesis (originally by G. Frege) that the meaning of composite expressions, e.g. sentences, results from the meanings of the parts. It follows that a change of the parts, e.g. replacement of a single word by another, can change the meaning of the entire composite structure. See also Frege principle.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
SchifferVsCompositionality: we must reject it because we must also reject the theory of relation (without which we cannot have the compositionality) - understanding must be explained otherwise: Solution: conceptual role in neuronal lingua mentis without compositionality.
I 183
SchifferVsCompositionality: verbs for propositional attitude can hardly be put into a compositional semantics. - In addition E.g. "is a picture of", "true", "big", "toy"(soldier) - adverbs, evaluative terms like. - "sShould", "good", pronouns and demonstrative pronouns - "everyone", "all". - Also counterfactual conditional and modal expressions represent a problem for compositional semantics.
I 183
Compositional truth theoretical semantics/Schiffer: attributes truth conditions to sentences.
I 184
Compositionality/SchifferVsCompositionality/SchifferVsFrege: natural language does not need any compositional semantics for understanding - for new sets, we are not confronted with new words and even only with known constructions - pro Frege: meaning theory must determine compositional mechanisms, but this does not lead to the fact that the meaning theory must be truth-theoretical (must determine truth conditions).
I 208
SchifferVsCompositionality/SchifferVsFrege: E.g. "and": the everyday linguistic meaning is not captured by the truth value table - compositional semantics would require that there is a non-logical axiom for each non-logical expression - this is not possible - propositions by E, Harveys spoken language receive their representational character via the connection with mental representation - therefore Mentalese does not need compositional semantics.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Schi I
St. Schiffer
Remnants of Meaning Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-22
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