chapter  6
38 Pages

The Semantics of Discourse. Existential Import 1

ByJohn N. Martin

This chapter begins with a long quotation that is the Logic’s clearest commitment to contingent truths. They are described there as referring to “existing things, especially human and contingent events, which may or may not come to exist when it is a question of the past.” The chapter reviews the Logic’s account of sensation in terms of intentional content. This is followed by a discussion of implications for the theory of truth. The Logic expands on the semantics of false ideas and the mechanism by which they lead to error. The semantic details concern the nature of “correspondence to the world” in the case of contingent truth, the account of which entails that the truth-conditions of contingent affirmations must be revised to require existential import. The chapter also presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book.