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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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Reconfiguring the debate

Reconfiguring the debate

Chapter:
(p.139) II.3 Reconfiguring the debate
Source:
Second Philosophy
Author(s):

Penelope Maddy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273669.003.0011

This chapter digresses from the inquiry into truth and reference to consider the nature of the debate as described so far. One underlying motivation for both Tarski and Field is some variety of physicalism, for example in Field's analogy between a disquotational account of reference and a physicalistically unsatisfactory account of valence. In contrast, the Second Philosopher is disinclined to set preconditions on what an acceptable theory must be like. The proposed account of valence, she argues, was actually an important empirical achievement (unlike the disquotationalist's trivial account of reference), and the push for a deeper explanation took place within a specific line of chemical inquiry, not in response to an overarching principle like physicalism. For the Second Philosopher, the debate over truth also takes place within a specific empirical inquiry, namely the earlier Putnam's call for an explanation of the efficacy of human language use.

Keywords:   correspondence theories, disquotationalism, Field, physicalism, Putnam, reference, Tarski, truth, valence

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