Linguistic Convention and Paradox
Sam Cumming (UCLA), Samuel John Cumming

February 26, 2016, 6:00am - 8:00am
Logic Group, The University of Melbourne

Old Quad
Parkville 3010


Shawn Standefer
University of Melbourne

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Sam Cumming (UCLA) will give a talk entited "Linguistic Convention and Paradox". The abstract is as folllows.

Abstract: The semantic paradoxes are a symptom of the imperfect state of natural language; hence, there can be no solution to them that is also faithful to linguistic convention, at least in its present state. Natural language can undergo reform, however, and so we can rebrand "solutions" to the paradoxes as proposals to update the conventions so as to eliminate or block them. We would then expect to see what we in fact do see: a range of conflicting and artifi cial-seeming approaches. The fact that semantic paradoxes are a part of language is no bar to the scientifi c description of language; and I even sketch out how a compositional semantics that predicted those imperfections might look.

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