David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 37 (2):278–302 (2003)
That expressions should have their contents can seem paradigmatically contingent. But it can also seem a priori that expressions in one's own language should have their contents to the extent that instances of disquotation, such as "Socrates" refers to Socrates' and "cat" refers to cats', are trivially true. I attempt to reconcile these conflicting intuitions about meaningfulness by examining semantic and metasemantic details of linguistic reflexivity. I argue that instances of disquotation are contingent analytic in Kaplan's sense, and bring this lesson to bear on semantic strategies for responding to skepticism, such as Putnam's Brains-in-a-Vat argument.
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