Bilateral Approaches to Meaning
- European Research Council
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Traditional semantics gives the meaning of expressions in terms of conditions on one kind of primitive (e.g. truth, assertion, belief). Bilateral approaches hold that the meaning of expressions is characterized in terms of conditions on two, usually opposite primitives (e.g. truth and falsity, assertion and rejection, belief and disbelief). Recent years have witnessed the independent development of a variety of bilateral approaches to analyze phenomena such as negation, epistemic modality and counterfactuals, from both a proof-theoretic and a model-theoretic perspective. The workshop will bring together researchers from either perspective in order to provide a venue for the systematic exploration of commonalities, differences and potential interactions between such approaches.
- Are there natural points of contact between the various bilateral approaches?
- Can a unified bilateral approach be developed?
- What advantages, if any, does it have over the standard unilateral approach?
- What is the remit of bilateral semantics in formal semantics and/or philosophy of language?
- What is the linguistic, cognitive, or metaphysical status of meanings given in terms of bilateral semantics?
- Are there further areas of application for bilateral approaches?
- Should the bilateral approach be further expanded into a multilateral approach?