David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):743 - 759 (2012)
Lewisian reference magnetism about linguistic content determination [Lewis 1983 has been defended in recent work by Weatherson  and Sider , among others. Two advantages claimed for the view are its capacity to make sense of systematic error in speakers' use of their words, and its capacity to distinguish between verbal and substantive disagreements. Our understanding of both error and disagreement is linked to the role of usage and first order intuitions in semantics and in linguistic theory more generally. I argue, partially on the basis of these more general considerations, that reference magnetism delivers implausible results. Specifically, I argue that the proponent of reference magnetism maintains her analysis of genuinely systematic error at the cost of an empirically unjustifiable error theory regarding ordinary usage. In response, I describe an alternative view of content determination?MUMPS, or Meaning is Use Minus Pragmatics?which is not committed to such error theories. Despite this advantage, MUMPS has high prima facie costs. On such a view, there is a great deal of variation in linguistic meaning across speakers and times. As a result, a large number of seemingly mistaken claims are analysed as expressing true propositions. Correspondingly, a large number of seemingly substantive disagreements are analysed as terminological. However, I argue that these consequences are not as costly as they seem. Despite appearances, MUMPS is consistent with objective, metaphysically realist adjudication of disagreements, even in cases where meanings are not shared and where both parties to a dispute speak truly. MUMPS thus allows for a more nuanced understanding of linguistic usage, change, and variation, without imposing a commitment to any form of metaphysical anti-realism
|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
Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2009). Relativism and Monadic Truth. Oxford University Press.
D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.) (2009). Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
Noam Chomsky (1965). Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. The MIT Press.
Andy Egan (2007). Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion. Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
Allan Gibbard (1990). Wise Choices, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgment. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bryan Frances (2013). Philosophical Renegades. In Jennifer Lackey & David Christensen (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. OUP 121-166.
Barbara Fultner (2005). Referentiality in Frege and Heidegger. Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (1):37-52.
C. S. I. Jenkins (2013). Justification Magnets. Philosophical Studies 164 (1):93-111.
Kent Bach (2006). What Does It Take To Refer? In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press 516--554.
Caj Strandberg (2004). Moral Reality. A Defence of Moral Realism. Lund University.
Richard Joyce (2011). The Error In 'The Error In The Error Theory'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):519-534.
Annalisa Coliva (2003). The First Person: Error Through Misidentification, the Split Between Speaker's and Semantic Reference, and the Real Guarantee. Journal of Philosophy 100 (8):416-431.
Chris Daly & David Liggins (2010). In Defence of Error Theory. Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
Hagi Kenaan (1999). Subject to Error: Rethinking Husserl's Phenomenology of Misperception. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (1):55 – 67.
Michael Rubin (2014). On Two Responses to Moral Twin Earth. Theoria 80 (1):26-43.
Bart Streumer (2013). Can We Believe the Error Theory? Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):194-212.
Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes (2014). Disagreement Without Error. Erkenntnis 79 (1):143-154.
Alex Byrne (2009). Experience and Content. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.
Theodore Sider (2014). Hirsch's Attack on Ontologese. Noûs 48 (3):565-572.
Added to index2011-09-16
Total downloads54 ( #45,725 of 1,699,660 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #206,271 of 1,699,660 )
How can I increase my downloads?