This introductory chapter sets out the book’s purpose, which is to present a new account of meaning for natural language. The account has three levels. At the first level the account is a theory, at the second a framework, and at the third a paradigm. The paradigm embodies the leading idea and image of equilibrium—or balance among multiple interacting forces. The framework draws primarily upon game theory and situation theory. The theory uses the constraints that arise from game theory and situation theory to capture the meanings of utterances. This renders their derivation a more or less straightforward computational task. The resulting account is called equilibrium semantics.
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