Aboutness and Quantifying Into Intensional Contexts: A Pragmatic Topic/Comment Analysis of Propositional Attitude Statements

  • Jay David AtlasEmail author
Part of the Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology book series (PEPRPHPS, volume 18)


It is not rare to find students of language interested in the many ways in which speakers talk about Fred or about the weather, assert of Fred or of the weather that he is fat or that it is fine. Many philosophers, logicians, and linguists share an interest in what words or phrases designate or describe, and what speakers refer to, mention, and say things about. But it is also notable that the Grammarian and the Philosopher, especially the Metaphysician, have looked at intentionality in different ways. In this lecture I sketch the ways that the Philosophers Nelson Goodman and W.V.O Quine and by contrast the Grammarians have analyzed and used the notion of Aboutness, in Quine’s case in his famous argument against Quantifying Into intensional sentences. Goodman’s and Quine’s analyses are motivated by different intellectual goals from the Linguists’. By contrast Linguists have the notion of Topic Noun Phrase. I shall argue that the Linguists’ notion of Topic Noun Phrase offers clarification and an intellectual advance over Goodman’s and Quine’s notions, especially in the treatment of propositional attitude sentences.


About Quantifying In propositional attitudes Topic Noun Phrases pragmatics Goodman Quine Gundel 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTrinity UniversitySan AntonioUSA

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