I’m rather fond of this quotation from Richard Montague. When I mention it to people, it tends to elicit either a hearty nod of agreement or a puzzlement about why anyone would ever think it. He says: 

I reject the contention that an important theoretical difference exists between formal and natural languages. … Like Donald Davidson, I regard the construction of a theory of truth — or rather, of the more general notion of truth under an arbitrary interpretation — as the basic goal of serious syntax and semantics.

That is from the opening of his “English as a Formal Language.” I usually only remember the first sentence, which is what gets the reactions. The second sentence quoted surprised me a bit, but it probably should not have. Montague worked on paradoxes as well as general topics in semantics. It is, perhaps, surprising that a theory of meaning does not come in as the basic goal of serious semantics. That might be slightly further on in the article.

More substantive stuff to come later this weekend.

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