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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Aristotelian notion of proposition laid the foundations for subsequent theories of grammar and of truth and falsity. Eubulides (ca 405–330 BCE), one of the founders of the Stoa, anticipated most of the main themes of twentieth-century semantics (the Liar paradox, intensional contexts, presuppositions, vagueness). During the Middle Ages, logic was studied intensively, but labored under metaphysical and religious a-prioris. Subsequent centuries were relatively poor in this regard, until the twentieth century, when logic turned mathematical and clashed with natural intuitions. The main aim was to model natural language after the ideal of logical language, without much regard for the ecology of natural language or for its structural and other formal properties. Pragmatics was introduced to bridge the gap. Some now advocate a more integrated ecological perspective, deriving the logic of language from the meanings of the logical operators in natural language.

Keywords: definite descriptions, discourse, paradoxes, presupposition, proposition, speculative grammar, supposition theory

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