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Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 9$
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Karen Bennett and Dean W. Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729242.001.0001

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Paraphrase, semantics, and ontology

Paraphrase, semantics, and ontology

(p.89) 6. Paraphrase, semantics, and ontology
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 9

John A. Keller

Oxford University Press

Reconciling paraphrases, this chapter states, are intended to show that two apparently inconsistent claims are in fact consistent. A growing number of philosophers have come to doubt the legitimacy of reconciling paraphrases due to the lack of ‘respectable’ evidence that can be provided on their behalf. Specifically, these critics think that in order to be plausible, reconciling paraphrases must be accompanied by evidence that would be of interest to linguists, semanticists, or philosophers of language. Since reconciling paraphrases are almost never offered with such evidence, these critics maintain that such paraphrases can be dismissed as mere wishful thinking. This chapter argues that this concern is mistaken: for many paraphrases, a lack of such evidence is not even a concern, much less a condemnation.

Keywords:   evidence, linguists, paraphrases, philosophers, philosophy, semanticists

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