By Jerrold J Katz
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Extra resources for Analyticity, Necessity, and the Epistemology of Semantics
Anyone reading the directions to a football game, waiting anxiously for the doctor’s verdict, or struggling with the instructions for an item of furniture that came in a flat pack knows this. Strange it would be if what is most important is vague and radically context-dependent, whereas meaning, thought of as something separate, is precise and amenable to theory. Thirdly, anyone who hears “The land mine is five cms from your left foot,” or “It’s benign,” knows very well what the (the) informational value is.
Thirdly, anyone who hears “The land mine is five cms from your left foot,” or “It’s benign,” knows very well what the (the) informational value is. The same goes for philosophers and our books and articles. We may fail to get our message across but there is such a thing as the message we are seeking to get across. Finally and perhaps most importantly, there is a general point about extracting information. You cannot get reliable information from the random, from the patternless. It is undeniable that we get detailed, reliable information about our world from coming across sentences we understand.
I caused the sentence to be uttered but I am not the producer in the relevant sense. Fred is, and the token of “I” refers to Fred and not to me. 25 All the same, the reference rule is straightforward. “I” refers to the producer of the sentence. ” The reference of “I” goes by, is determined by, whatever has the property of being the producer of the token sentence. And that is common knowledge and part of what it is to understand how “I” works. This is fully in accord with our approach to the question, What is a theory of reference a theory of?
Analyticity, Necessity, and the Epistemology of Semantics by Jerrold J Katz