Books : reviews

Jon Barwise, John Perry.
Situations and Attitudes.
MIT Press. 1983

In this book two outstanding scholars, whose complementary backgrounds and perspectives provide a depth of experience and competence in logic and philosophy of language, unfold a highly readable, witty, and clear treatment of important innovations in the field of natural semantics. Their thesis is that the standard view of logic (as derived from Frege, Russell, and work in mathematics and logic) is inappropriate for many of the uses to which it has been put by philosophers, linguists, computer scientists, and others. Instead they provide the basics of a realistic model-theoretic semanatics of natural language. Avoiding technical details, they seek to explain the main ideas of the theory, contrasting them with competing theories.