The notion of subject matter is a key concern of contemporary philosophy of language and logic. A central task for a theory of subject matter is to characterise the notion of sentential subject matter, that is, to assign to each sentence of a given language a subject matter that may count as its subject matter. In this paper, we elaborate upon David Lewis’ account of subject matter. Lewis’ proposal is simple and elegant but lacks a satisfactory characterisation of sentential subject matter. Drawing on linguistic literature on focus and on the question under discussion, we offer a neo-Lewisian account of subject matter, which retains all the virtues of Lewis’ but also includes an attractive characterisation of sentential subject matter.

Subject Matter: A Modest Proposal

Plebani, Matteo;
2021

Abstract

The notion of subject matter is a key concern of contemporary philosophy of language and logic. A central task for a theory of subject matter is to characterise the notion of sentential subject matter, that is, to assign to each sentence of a given language a subject matter that may count as its subject matter. In this paper, we elaborate upon David Lewis’ account of subject matter. Lewis’ proposal is simple and elegant but lacks a satisfactory characterisation of sentential subject matter. Drawing on linguistic literature on focus and on the question under discussion, we offer a neo-Lewisian account of subject matter, which retains all the virtues of Lewis’ but also includes an attractive characterisation of sentential subject matter.
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Plebani, Matteo; Spolaore, Giuseppe
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1749312
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