In this provocative book, Barwise and Perry tackle the slippery subject of 'meaning', a subject that has long vexed linguists, language philosophers, and logicians. Meaning does not exist solely within words and sentences but resides largely in the situation and the attitudes brought to it by those involved. The authors present an unusually lucid treatment of important innovations in the field of natural semantics, contending that the standard view of logic (as derived from Frege, Russell, and work in mathematics and logic) is inappropriate for many of the uses to which it has been put by scholars. In Situations and Attitudes Barwise and Perry provide the basics of a realistic model-theoretic semantics of natural language, explain the main ideas of the theory, and contrast them with those of competing theories.
Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Meaningful situations; 2. Evidence for a theory of linguistic meaning; Part II. A Theory of Situations: 3. Abstract situations; 4. Event-types; 5. Constraints; Part III. Situation Semantics: 6. Sentence meanings; 7. The meaning of singular noun phrases; Part IV. The Attitudes: 8. Seeing; 9. Attitudes as relations to situations; 10. Representing mental states and events; 11. Further directions; Appendix to chapter 6: Determiner-free aliass; Appendix to chapter 7: Singular aliass.