Naming and Asserting
This chapter draws a distinction between the semantic content of a sentence, and the assertive content of a normal, literal utterance of it. Semantic content is a set of constraints that determines a class of structural enrichments of the minimal proposition, or proposition-matrix, satisfying the constraints. Pragmatic aspects of the context determine which propositions in this class are then asserted. Even when the constraints determine a complete minimal proposition (traditionally identified as the semantic content), it is not always asserted, and, whether or not it is, other propositions typically are. Examples involving linguistically simple, as well as partially descriptive, names are used to illustrate the view — which has the effect of reconciling certain Fregean intuitions about assertions and beliefs with a Millian semantics of names.
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