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Second PhilosophyA Naturalistic Method$
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Penelope Maddy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.001.0001

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Disquotation

Disquotation

Chapter:
(p.152) II.4 Disquotation
Source:
Second Philosophy
Author(s):

Penelope Maddy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.003.0012

Returning to the debate itself, does a full account of how humans use language require a correspondence theory of truth and reference? This chapter argues that disquotationalism is fully up to the job of explaining how our language use succeeds in guiding our worldly actions — because our beliefs are good indicators of the facts (often not because they are true) — and also what happens when language is vague or non-factual or indeterminate. Indeed the second-philosophical disquotationalist's analysis of well-trod cases like Priestley's talk of ‘dephlogisticated air’ involve careful analyses of indications relations that run parallel to the detailed work of causal theorists of reference. Word-world relations are as central to her account of language use as they are to correspondence theories; it's just that she doesn't share the belief that, e.g., the facts about Priestley and the world determine whether or not a given one of his utterances refers to oxygen. For her, this is a matter of how we interpret him into our current language, and that may vary with the context and goals of the interpretation.

Keywords:   causal theory of reference, correspondence theories, disquotationalism, phlogiston, Priestley, truth

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