When I was commissioned by Cambridge University Press to write an introduction to semantics, I was elated; I knew I was in for a great ride. This is the case even if I was perfectly aware of an unavoidable fact: it's impossible to write an introduction to semantics that will satisfy everybody. Many great scholars will feel you are ignoring them (or more probably, just plain wrong about your choices). While it's evident that different traditions have very smart people in their camps who cannot be completely wrong, there's really no way around it: in a book like this, you have to choose sides. And then face the music.
So, as expected, some level of disagreement can be found in almost any topic in semantics we choose: whether the tools of logic are useful or not; whether meaning is something embodied or symbolic, whether metaphor is useful or useless, whether semantics and pragmatics are to be distinguished or not, whether language influences thought significantly or not, and a very long etcetera. That's why I said that writing a book on semantics (especially an introduction, where there's not much space to give all possibilities their due), is probably a surefire way of creating enemies. Well, that's life.
I am in complete agreement with the saying that ‘education is not the filling of a vessel, but the lighting of a fire’. This is the approach I've tried to take here: even more important than the facts themselves is the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm that emanates from all the work that is being carried out in the field right now. As I see it, the story of semantics is not a mere recollection of facts from the past, but something that is being written in these very moments. I firmly believe these are topics that are central to our understanding of language, our minds and ourselves, and in this sense, they should be interesting for just about anyone (especially for anyone interested in how language and our minds work).
A great deal of effort in this book has gone into two goals: first, aiming for an explanation of topics accessible to anyone, while trying to avoid oversimplification at the same time. This is really tricky, because most issues in semantics are notoriously complicated and each single point can be modified, qualified and nuanced ad nauseam.