Holism, Conceptual-Role Semantics, and Syntactic Semantics

  title={Holism, Conceptual-Role Semantics, and Syntactic Semantics},
  author={William J. Rapaport},
  journal={Minds and Machines},
  • W. Rapaport
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • Philosophy
  • Minds and Machines
This essay continues my investigation of `syntactic semantics': the theory that, pace Searle's Chinese-Room Argument, syntax does suffice for semantics (in particular, for the semantics needed for a computational cognitive theory of natural-language understanding). Here, I argue that syntactic semantics (which is internal and first-person) is what has been called a conceptual-role semantics: The meaning of any expression is the role that it plays in the complete system of expressions. Such a… 
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