Get Contexts of Understanding PDF

By Herman Parret

ISBN-10: 9027225095

ISBN-13: 9789027225092

This essay bargains with the trouble of realizing understanding, taking the certainty of traditional language fragments as a paradigm.

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Sample text

As Frege notes, what maπers for the purposes of communication -- and of language production and understand­ ing -- is that the speakers can convey/understand which particular ref­ erence is being talked about. Hence Dummett's insistence on tying sense to use does not seem to be required by Frege's thesis that sense is objective. Why this long interlude on the Fregean theme ? To understand se­ miotic systems -- natural languages, for example -- is to understand senses. There are two paradigms of explanation, which are incompatible in spite of the subtle shift from one to the other paradigm exemplified by Dummeπ's trans-Fregean rather than neo-Fregean formulation.

Not everything can be presentified in S and X, and logical operations (as formulated in classical and modal symbolic logic) have to be checked for their capacity of pres­ entation for S and X when understanding a semiotic sequence containing them. Conjunction, disjunction and implication conform to the internal role constraining the 'presentability' for S and X when the modes of presentation are 'revealing' or concern the propositional content of the sequence, as is shown by the following examples.

The objection, indeed, could run as follows. My account of understanding would be circular in two respects, (a) Understanding is understanding of a significance. A significance is practically inferred from the 'given' meaning of a pragma-syntactic structure or the semiotic sequence U. To infer practically a significance presupposes the understanding of U. (b) Presentation is a condition of understanding, and the canon­ ical form of presentation is presentation by description. So the avail­ ability of a discursive paraphrase is a condition of presentation, hence of understanding.

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Contexts of Understanding by Herman Parret


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