Truth-conditional semantics


Truth-conditional semantics

Truth-conditional semantics is an approach to semantics of natural language that sees the meaning of a sentence being the same as, or reducible to, the truth conditions of that sentence. This approach to semantics is principally associated with Donald Davidson, and carries out for the semantics of natural language what Tarski's semantic theory of truth achieves for the semantics of logic.

Truth-conditional theories of semantics attempt to define the meaning sense of a given proposition in terms of the truth conditions under which it obtains in the real world. The meaning of conditional statements can be described by making reference to the truth conditions of the statement in an a priori unbounded number of "possible worlds."

Truth-conditional semantics is most clearly defined for declarative sentences. It is difficult to conceive of truth conditions for an imperative or interrogative sentence.

ee also

*Proof-theoretic semantics

References

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