Intension and Meaning
(Original title: Intenzia a význam)Filozofia
, 22 (1967)
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The study is a free, informal outline of the present logical-semantic problems of intension (sense) and meaning. About 30 years ago, Professor Hrušovský dealt with similar questions, though from another point of view. This study is devoted to him. First of all, basic notions of the theory of meaning are analysed which is understood as a part of logical semantics. Analogously to traditional differentiation of two aspects of meaning, in modern theories of cognitive meaning its two aspects are also distinguished: extensional (denotational) and intensional (of sense). On such a differentiation, Frege, and later Church, Carnap and further semanticians have constructed their conception. Having investigated the general traits of the extensional aspect, the author pays more attention to the intentional aspect of meaning and the whole meaning of terms. Questions of a terminological as well as material character are solved and the philosophical background of a positive or negative attitude to intensions is analysed (extensionalistic and intensionalistic standpoint are confronted).
Further on, the study deals — more systematically t-han historically — with some conceptions of the theory of intension and meaning, starting from Frege up to Martin. By means of concise analyses, Frage’s Sinn is at first compared with Church’s sense and Carnap’s intension. Attenttion is then paid to the specific theory of znaczenie by Ajdukiewicz,model conception by Beth, less known theory by Lewis and finally to the latest word in the theory or intensions — to Martin’s conception of intensions and quasi-intensions. This is certainly not complete, since, for instance, Quine’s important conception is missing. Finally, problems are outlined here of synonymity and analyticity, of empirical criteria of meaning and sense as well as problems of atomistic and integral understanding of meaning and sense. The conclusion states that there are some weak points in each of the conceptions mentioned and that an entirely satisfying theory of intension may depend on future development of logical semantics and related disciplines.