Care-theoretic semantics: Problems and non-deterministic solutions (Thomas Ferguson)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on April 3rd from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Thomas Ferguson (Czech Academy of Sciences).

Title: Care-theoretic semantics: Problems and non-deterministic solutions

Abstract: In this talk I will present the details of a project of care-theoretic semantics in which a linguistic feature of care–rather than truth–is understood as the fundamental semantic property. I will review the details, including how adopting a bounds consequence position in which bounds are determined by considerations of topic allows one to determine both a theory of inference and theory of meaning on the basis of care alone. I will consider two challenges to the project: that of the reconciliation of topic-theoretic and truth-theoretic bounds (in which we need to acknowledge cases in which a position crosses both types of bounds) and sui generis monstrous content (in which two anodyne sentences together yield a content-theoretic violation). I will show that in both cases intuitions suggest the use of Nmatrices in the style of Avron and consider the merits of their employment in the care-theoretic setting.

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