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Truth and Words$
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Gary Ebbs

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557936.001.0001

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The Intersubjectivity Constraint

The Intersubjectivity Constraint

(p.82) 3 The Intersubjectivity Constraint
Truth and Words

Gary Ebbs (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the pragmatic motivation for adopting the intersubjectivity constraint, according to which a Tarski-style disquotational truth predicate defined for one's own sentences is satisfactory only if it is supplemented by an account of why it is epistemically reasonable for one to use it to generalize on other speakers' sentences and one's own sentences as one used them in the past. The central observation is that when we take ourselves to agree or disagree with others, to learn from others by trusting what they say, or to express a new discovery, we typically identify their words with words of our own without hesitation or deliberation. We thereby commit ourselves to applying disquotational definitions of satisfaction for our own words to other speakers' words as well. It is integral to our pursuit of truth to regard the resulting non-deliberative, practical judgments of sameness of satisfaction as both factual and trustworthy.

Keywords:   agreement, disagreement, discovery, disquotational, epistemically reasonable, factual, intersubjectivity, logical generalizations, non-deliberative, satisfaction

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