Meaning as an Inferential Role

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    While according to the inferentialists, meaning is always a kind of inferential role, proponents of other approaches to semantics often doubt that actual meanings, as they see them, can be generally reduced to inferential roles. In this paper we propose a formal framework for considering the hypothesis of the “general inferentializability of meaning”. We provide very general definitions of both “semantics” and “inference” and study the question which kinds of semantics can be reasonably seen as engendered by inferences. We restrict ourselves to logical constants; and especially to the question of the fesaibility of seeing the meanings of those of classical logic in an inferential way. The answer we reach is positive (although with some provisos).