Ruling-out realism

Philosophia 15 (1-2):61-78 (1985)
The case for anti-realism in the theory of meaning, as presented by Dummen and Wright, 1 is only partly convincing. There is, I shall suggest, a crucial lacuna in the argument, that can only be filled by the later Wittgenstein's following-a-rule considerations. So it is the latter that provides the strongest argument for the rejection of semantic realism.
By 'realism', throughout, I should be taken as referring to any conception of meaning that leaves open the possibility that a sentence may have a determinate truth-value although we are incapable - either in practice or in principle - of discovering what truth-value it has ('the possibility of veritication-transcendence' for short). 2 I shall say nothing further about what an anti-realist semantics might look like, nor about the possible consequences for logic, epistemology and metaphysics, beyond the fact that it must involve the rejection of any such conception of meaning.
Keywords Language  Meaning  Realism  Semantics  Wittgenstein
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