Kevin Scharp Ohio State University
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About me
I am an associate professor at The Ohio State University. I work on philosophy of language, philosophical logic, and the history of analytic philosophy.
My works
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  1. Kevin Scharp, Truth and Internalizability.
    The vast majority of approaches to the liar paradox generate new paradoxes that are structurally similar to the liar (often called revenge paradoxes). There is a complex group of issues surrounding revenge paradoxes, the expressive powers of natural languages, and the adequacy of approaches to the liar. My goal is to provide a precise framework against which these issues can be formulated and discussed. The centerpiece of this framework is the notion of internalizability: a semantic theory is internalizable for a (...)
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  2. Kevin Scharp, Truthmakers for Truths About Truth.
    Those who endorse correspondence theories of truth or truthmaker maximalism accept that corresponding to the world (or having a truthmaker) is a necessary condition for being true. This condition has been criticized recently, but the arguments of these objections are unsound. Instead, I argue that by reflecting on the truthmakers for sentences containing ‘true’, we see that ‘every truth has a truthmaker’ has several unacceptable consequences, the most serious of which is that it is self-refuting. It follows that correspondence theories (...)
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  3. Kevin Scharp, Xeno Semantics for Ascending and Descending Truth.
    As part of an approach to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting truth, I have proposed replacing our concept of truth with two concepts: ascending truth and descending truth.1 I am not going to discuss why I think this is the best approach or how it solves the paradoxes; instead, I concentrate on the theory of ascending and descending truth. I formulate an axiomatic theory of ascending truth and descending truth (ADT) and provide a possible-worlds semantics for it (...)
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  4. Kevin Scharp (forthcoming). Brandom on Communication. In Jason Hannon & Robert Rutland (eds.), Philosophical Profiles in the Theory of Communication. McGill-Queen's University Press.
    This chapter covers some of Robert Brandom’s contributions to our understanding of communication. Topics discussed include his theory of discursive practice, his inferential semantics, his scorekeeping pragmatics, his views on the “transmission” model of communication, and his semantic perspectivism. I compare his scorekeeping pragmatic theory to other kinds of pragmatic theories, and I argue that his semantic perspectivism can be understood as a global indexical relativism.
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  5. Kevin Scharp (forthcoming). Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability. Erkenntnis:1-49.
    Although there has been a recent swell of interest in theories of truth that attempt solutions to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting our concept of truth, many of these theories have been criticized for generating new paradoxes, called revenge paradoxes. The criticism is that the theories of truth in question are inadequate because they only work for languages lacking in the resources to generate revenge paradoxes. Theorists facing these objections offer a range of replies, and the matter (...)
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  6. Kevin Scharp (forthcoming). Wilfrid Sellars' Anti-Descriptivism. In Koskinen (ed.), Categories of Being.
    The work of Kripke, Putnam, Kaplan, and others initiated a tradition in philosophy that has come to be known as anti-descriptivism. I argue that when properly interpreted, Wilfrid Sellars is a staunch anti-descriptivist. Not only does he accept most of the conclusions drawn by the more famous anti-descriptivists, he goes beyond their critiques to reject the fundamental tenant of descriptivism—that understanding a linguistic expression consists in mentally grasping its meaning and associating that meaning with the expression. I show that Sellars’ (...)
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  7. Kevin Scharp (2013). Truth, the Liar, and Relativism. Philosophical Review 122 (3):427-510.
    This essay proposes a theory of the nature and logic of truth on which truth is an inconsistent concept that should be replaced for certain theoretical purposes. The paradoxes associated with truth (for example, the liar) and the pattern of failures in our attempts to deal with them suggest that truth is an inconsistent concept. The first part of the essay describes a pair of replacement concepts, which the essay dubs ascending truth and descending truth, along with an axiomatic theory (...)
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  8. Kevin Scharp & Stewart Shapiro (2012). On Richard's When Truth Gives Out. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 160 (3):455-463.
    On Richard’s When Truth Gives Out Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-9 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9796-0 Authors Kevin Scharp, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Stewart Shapiro, Department of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 350 University Hall, 230 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  9. Kevin Scharp (2010). Falsity. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Although there is a massive amount of work on truth, there is very little work on falsity. Most philosophers probably think this is appropriate; after all, once we have a solid understanding of truth, falsity should not prove to be much of a challenge. However, there are several interesting and difficult issues associated with understanding falsity. After considering two prominent definitions of falsity and presenting objections to each one, I propose a definition that avoids their problems.
     
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  10. Kevin Scharp (2010). Truth's Saviour? [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):183 - 188.
    Hartry Field’s book, Saving Truth from Paradox, is without question among the best works on truth and the liar paradox in the analytic tradition—it should become the standard reference on the liar paradox for years to come. Field offers lucid, technically accurate, but accessible discussions of most of the approaches to the liar paradox that are currently being debated in the literature. He also defends his favored approach, which requires a change from classical to paracomplete logic. After a brief flirtation (...)
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  11. Kevin Scharp (2009). Truth and Expressive Completeness. In Reading Brandom.
    Robert Brandom claims that the theory of meaning he presents in Making It Explicit is expressively complete—i.e., it successfully applies to the language in which the theory of meaning is formulated. He also endorses a broadly Kripkean approach to the liar paradox. I show that these two commitments are incompatible, and I survey several options for resolving the problem.
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  12. Kevin Scharp (2008). Locke's Theory of Reflection. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):25 – 63.
    Those concerned with Locke’s Essay have largely ignored his account of reflection. I present and defend an interpretation of Locke’s theory of reflection on which reflection is not a variety of introspection; rather, for Locke, we acquire ideas of our mental operations indirectly. Furthermore, reflection is involuntary and distinct from consciousness. The interpretation I present also explains reflection’s role in the acquisition of non-sensory ideas (e.g., ideas of pleasure, existence, succession, etc.). I situate this reading within the secondary literature on (...)
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  13. G. Priest & Kevin Scharp (2007). REVIEWS-Doubt Truth to Be a Liar. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4).
     
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  14. K. Scharp (2007). G. Priest, Doubt Truth to Be a Liar. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 13 (4):541.
     
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  15. Kevin Scharp (2007). Alethic Vengeance. In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox. Oxford University Press.
    Thinking about truth can be more dangerous than it looks. Of course, our concept of truth is the source of one of the most frustrating and impenetrable paradoxes humans have ever contemplated, the liar paradox, but that is just the beginning of its treachery. In an effort to understand why one of the most beloved and revered members of our conceptual repertoire could cause us so much trouble, philosophers have for centuries proposed “solutions” to the liar paradox. However, it seems (...)
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  16. Kevin Scharp (2007). Replacing Truth. Inquiry 50 (6):606 – 621.
    Of the dozens of purported solutions to the liar paradox published in the past fifty years, the vast majority are "traditional" in the sense that they reject one of the premises or inference rules that are used to derive the paradoxical conclusion. Over the years, however, several philosophers have developed an alternative to the traditional approaches; according to them, our very competence with the concept of truth leads us to accept that the reasoning used to derive the paradox is sound. (...)
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  17. Kevin Scharp (2005). Scorekeeping in a Defective Language Game. Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (1):203-226.
    One common criticism of deflationism is that it does not have the resources to explain defective discourse (e.g., vagueness, referential indeterminacy, confusion, etc.). This problem is especially pressing for someone like Robert Brandom, who not only endorses deflationist accounts of truth, reference, and predication, but also refuses to use representational relations to explain content and propositional attitudes. To address this problem, I suggest that Brandom should explain defective discourse in terms of what it is to treat some portion of discourse (...)
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  18. Kevin Scharp (2003). Communication and Content: Circumstances and Consequences of the Habermas-Brandom Debate. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1):43 – 61.
    The recent exchange between Robert Brandom and Jürgen Habermas provides an opportunity to compare and contrast some aspects of their systems. Both present broadly inferential accounts of meaning, according to which the content of an expression is determined by its role in an inferential network. Several problems confront such theories of meaning - one of which threatens the possibility of communication because content is relative to an individual's set of beliefs. Brandom acknowledges this problem and provides a solution to it. (...)
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