David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan 267--281 (2010)
My target in this paper is a view that has sometimes been called the ‘<span class='Hi'>Linguistic</span> <span class='Hi'>Doctrine</span> of <span class='Hi'>Necessary</span> <span class='Hi'>Truth</span>’ (L-DONT) and sometimes ‘Conventionalism about Necessity’. It is the view that necessity is grounded in the meanings of our expressions—meanings which are sometimes identified with the conventions governing those expressions—and that our knowledge of that necessity is based on our knowledge of those meanings or conventions. In its simplest form the view states that a <span class='Hi'>truth</span>, if it is <span class='Hi'>necessary</span>, is <span class='Hi'>necessary</span> (and knowably <span class='Hi'>necessary</span>) because it is analytic. It is widely recognized that this simple version of the view faces a prima facie <span class='Hi'>problem</span> with the existence of the <span class='Hi'>necessary</span> a posteriori. Assuming that all analytic truths are a priori, if there are <span class='Hi'>necessary</span> a posteriori truths then there are <span class='Hi'>necessary</span> synthetic truths—contradicting the view’s claim that all <span class='Hi'>necessary</span> truths are analytic. Contemporary L-DONTers have things to say about the <span class='Hi'>problem</span>, but in this paper I want to suggest that there is a different, more serious, <span class='Hi'>problem</span> which arises from the phenomenon of indexicality, which L-DONTers have not taken account of. Though there are many versions of the <span class='Hi'>problem</span>, a simple one is this. Consider Kaplan’s celebrated sentence.
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