On the semantic content of “progress”

Petr S. Kus­liy
Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy, Russ­ian Acad­e­my of Sci­ences

On the seman­tic con­tent of “progress”

Abstract. The paper is a reply to Alexan­der Nikiforov’s dis­cus­sion of the notion of progress and a crit­i­cal eval­u­a­tion of that dis­cus­sion. The author accepts Nikiforov’s argu­ments about the rel­a­tiv­i­ty of the deno­ta­tion of the term “progress” but rejects his attempts to explain the term’s mean­ing by an appeal to a pos­i­tive devel­op­ment in a con­crete, albeit abstract, realm. The author argues that even though “progress” is an eval­u­a­tive pred­i­cate whose deno­ta­tion heav­i­ly depends on con­text, this does not mean that its seman­tics lacks an objec­tive com­po­nent. Build­ing on some lit­er­a­ture from for­mal seman­tics of nat­ur­al lan­guage, the author out­lines an approach to the seman­tics of “progress” that would not have the short­com­ings of the approach sug­gest­ed by Niki­forov.

Key­words: seman­tics, prag­mat­ics, progress, con­text, ref­er­ence

DOI: 10.32326/2618–9267–2021–4–2–30–39


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