Semantics, History of

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SEMANTICS, HISTORY OF

The scope of this article is in part determined by the following restrictions. (1) Although the development of semantics in the twentieth century equals or surpasses all that was done earlier, it receives very little attention here because the major theories and theorists of this period are thoroughly discussed in other articles. (2) The only semantic theories considered are those developed by Western philosophers; thus, no account is taken of the theories of meaning propounded, for example, by ancient Hindu philosophers or by European grammarians or linguists. (3) Since semantic theories concerning nonlinguistic signs tend to involve considerations of theories of knowledge generally, they are not discussed here except as they may occasionally bear directly on a theory of linguistic meaning. On the other hand, much of what philosophers have had to say about language is discussed here, whether or not it can be precisely described as semantics.

The contents of this article are arranged as follows.

ANTIQUITY

THE COSMOLOGISTS
THE SOPHISTS
CONVENTIONALISM AND NATURALISM
PLATO
ARISTOTLE
THE STOICS
THE EPICUREANS

THE MIDDLE AGES

ST. AUGUSTINE
BOETHIUS
ST. ANSELM
ABELARD
IMPOSITIONS AND INTENTIONS
"SCIENTIA SERMOCINALIS"
THE PROPERTIES OF TERMS
SYNCATEGOREMATA
SPECULATIVE GRAMMAR

THE RENAISSANCE AND ENLIGHTENMENT

SEMANTICS, LOGIC, AND EPISTEMOLOGY
BACON
HOBBES
THE "PORT-ROYAL LOGIC"
LOCKE
LEIBNIZ
BERKELEY
MAUPERTUIS AND HIS CRITICS
CONDILLAC
LAMBERT, HAMANN, AND HERDER
THE "IDÉOLOGUES"
UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR

THE NINETEENTH AND TWENTIETH CENTURIES

BENTHAM
HUMBOLDT
JOHNSON
MILL
PEIRCE AND THE PRAGMATISTS
FREGE
MAUTHNER
HUSSERL AND MEINONG