Now Playing: Reposted
Topic: HUMAN SEMANTICS
Quantification and Second-Order Monadicity
By Paul M. Pietroski
Once we grant that grammatical structure can be as complicated as logical structure, and just as distant from audible features of word strings, we can approach the study of human cognition by combining the insights of modern logic (and not just its first-order fragment) and linguistics. Those deciding where to invest might want to compare this project, in terms of the results it has delivered and its potential for delivering more in the foreseeable future, with alternative projects that philosophers of language and mind have been pursuing. My bias in this regard will be evident. Though a more dispassionate assessment might lead to much the same conclusion: for now, our best hope of learning something important about the structure of thought-and giving substance to the ancient idea of language as a mirror of the mind-lies with figuring out how Frege, Chomsky, Montague, Davidson, and many others could each be importantly right, and no doubt wrong, about the same thing: namely, the shared syntactic/semantic structure of our sentences/thoughts. My suggestion is that this structure is more conjunctive, monadic, and second-order than one might think.
Source: Semantics Archive