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Towards a Semantics Based on the Notion of Justification

Gabriele Usberti
Synthese
Vol. 148, No. 3, Proof-Theoretic Semantics (Feb., 2006), pp. 675-699
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20118715
Page Count: 25
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Towards a Semantics Based on the Notion of Justification
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Abstract

Suppose we want to take seriously the neoverificationist idea that an intuitionistic theory of meaning can be generalized in such a way as to be applicable not only to mathematical but also to empirical sentences. The paper explores some consequences of this attitude and takes some steps towards the realization of this program. The general idea is to develop a meaning theory, and consequently a formal semantics, based on the idea that knowing the meaning of a sentence is tantamount to having a criterion for establishing what is a justification for it. Section 1 motivates a requirement of epistemic transparency imposed onto justifications conceived as mental states. In Section 2, the formal notion of justification for an atomic formula is defined, in terms of the notion of cognitive state. In Section 3, the definition is extended to logically complex formulas. In Section 4, the notion of truth-ground is introduced and is used to give a definition of logical validity.

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