Indexical contextualism and the challenges from disagreement

Philosophical Studies 157 (1):107-123 (2012)
In this paper I argue against one variety of contextualism about aesthetic predicates such as “beautiful.” Contextualist analyses of these and other predicates have been subject to several challenges surrounding disagreement. Focusing on one kind of contextualism— individualized indexical contextualism —I unpack these various challenges and consider the responses available to the contextualist. The three responses I consider are as follows: giving an alternative analysis of the concept of disagreement; claiming that speakers suffer from semantic blindness; and claiming that attributions of beauty carry presuppositions of commonality. I will argue that none of the available strategies gives a response which both (a) satisfactorily explains all of the disagreement-data and (b) is plausible independent of significant evidence in favor of contextualism. I conclude that individualized indexical contextualism about the aesthetic is untenable, although this does not rule out alternative contextualist approaches to the aesthetic
Keywords Contextualism  Aesthetics  Beauty  Disagreement  Presupposition  Semantic blindness
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9621-1
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References found in this work BETA
John MacFarlane (2007). Relativism and Disagreement. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
John MacFarlane (2005). Making Sense of Relative Truth. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):321–339.

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Citations of this work BETA
Carl Baker (2013). The Role of Disagreement in Semantic Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-18.
Robin McKenna (2014). Shifting Targets and Disagreements. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):725-742.
Andy Egan (2012). Relativist Dispositional Theories of Value. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):557-582.

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John MacFarlane (2007). Relativism and Disagreement. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
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Claudia Bianchi (2005). How to Be a Contextualist. Facta Philosophica 7 (2):261-272.

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