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Meaning Diminished: Toward Metaphysically Modest Semantics

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2020.02.07 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Kenneth A. Taylor, Meaning Diminished: Toward Metaphysically Modest Semantics, Oxford University Press, 2019, 206pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198803447. Reviewed by Derek Ball, University of St AndrewsDerek Ball, University of St Andrews Can we learn about metaphysics by analysing the meanings of our words or the contents of our concepts? Kenneth A. Taylor’s book is a well-written, opinionated introduction to this question. Taylor’s answer is broadly negative: semantics cannot tell us much about metaphysics. In the course of developing this answer, Taylor discusses a broad range of issues: the metaphysical commitments of natural language semantics construed as a part of generative grammar, the metaphysics of semantic values, conceptual analysis, and the possibility that there is a radical mismatch between natural language and the world, among others. Taylor died unexpectedly in December 2019. One of the virtues of this, his last book, is that it situates many debates in relation to his previous work,... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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