The argument from queerness and the normativity of meaning
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In his book Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language (Kripke 1982), Saul Kripke develops a famous argument that purports to show that there are no facts about what we mean by the expressions of our language: ascriptions of meaning, such as “Jones means addition by ‘+’” or “<span class='Hi'>Smith</span> means green by ‘green’”, are according to Kripke’s Wittgenstein neither true nor false. Kripke’s Wittgenstein thus argues for a form of non- factualism about ascriptions of meaning: ascriptions of meaning do not purport to state facts.1 Define semantic realism to be the view that ascriptions of meaning are apt to be assessed in terms of truth and falsity, and are, at least in some instances, true. Semantic realism, thus defined, is a form of cognitivism about semantic judgement, according to which judgements ascribing meaning express beliefs, states apt for assessment in terms of truth and falsity. Kripke’s Wittgenstein thus argues against semantic realism, and in favour of a form of semantic non-cognitivism. However, another form of opposition to semantic realism accepts that semantic judgements express beliefs but asserts that those beliefs are systematically and uniformly false.2 This cognitivist form of opposition to semantic realism is similar to the error-theoretic form of opposition to moral realism mooted by J.L. Mackie in the first chapter of his Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong (Mackie 1977). In this paper I will investigate whether there is a plausible analogue of Mackie’s “argument from queerness” that can be used to make a case for an error-theory of semantic judgement. In §2 I set out what I take to be Mackie’s argument from queerness against moral realism. In §3 I argue that there is no straightforward and plausible analogue of that argument that would justify an error theory about ascriptions of meaning. In §4 and §5 I defend the argument of §3 against an objection developed in a recent paper by Daniel Whiting.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jakob Hohwy (2003). A Reduction of Kripke-Wittgenstein's Objections to Dispositionalism About Meaning. Minds and Machines 13 (2):257-68.
Peter Carruthers (1985). Ruling-Out Realism. Philosophia 15 (1-2):61-78.
Panu Raatikainen (2010). The Semantic Realism/Anti-Realism Dispute and Knowledge of Meanings. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1):1-13.
Henry Jackman (2003). Foundationalism, Coherentism, and Rule-Following Skepticism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1):25-41.
H. G. Callaway (1992). Meaning Holism and Semantic Realism (Reprinted in Callaway 2008, Meaning Without Analyticity). Dialectica 46 (1):41-59.
Hannah Ginsborg (2011). Review of Oughts and Thoughts: Rule-Following and the Normativity of Content, by Anandi Hattiangadi. [REVIEW] Mind 119 (476):1175-1186.
Kai-Yuan Cheng (2009). Semantic Dispositionalism, Idealization, and Ceteris Paribus Clauses. Minds and Machines 19 (3):407-419.
George M. Wilson (1998). Semantic Realism and Kripke's Wittgenstein. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (1):99-122.
Hannah Ginsborg (2011). Primitive Normativity and Skepticism About Rules. Journal of Philosophy 108 (5):227-254.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads138 ( #17,218 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?