Contextual synonymy



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This thesis is an attempt to define some key pragmatic concepts and to show how they can be used in the solution of a number of recurrent problems in the philosophy of language. Chapter one examines two traditional approaches to the study of languages and reveals their apriori character. The eclectic view which evolves in the course of this examination provides the theoretical background for the investigation of contextual synonymy. In Chapter two, preliminary definitions needed for the analysis of contexts are constructed. These definitions are then combined to define the notion of a significant consequence of a sentence, and ultimately the notion of synonymy relative to a context. Chapter three undertakes the application of the concept of contextual synonymy to some contemporary issues. Translation and the analysis of sentences of propositional attitude receive the primary emphasis, and suggestions are made concerning the semantic treatment of modal notions and practical applications in machine translation. Chapter four includes a review of a number of currently unsolved problems, and concludes with a critical evaluation of the place of "theories of meaning" in the philosophy of language.