Elgin on Lewis's Putnam's paradox

Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):85-93 (1997)
In "Unnatural Science"(1) Catherine Elgin examines the dilemma which David Lewis sees posed by Putnam's model-theoretic argument against realism. One horn of the dilemma commits us to seeing truth as something all too easily come by, a virtue to be attributed to any theory meeting relatively minimal conditions of adequacy. The other horn commits us to "anti-nominalism", some version of the ancient doctrine that language must "carve nature at the joints": that there are natural kinds or classes which alone qualify as referents (extensions) for our predicates. Elgin offers a searching critique of Lewis' response (accepting the second horn) and an illuminating defence of its contrary: "we cannot construe (mere) truth as the end of scientific inquiry. Not ... because truth is too hard to come by, but because it is too easy" (p. 301)
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DOI jphil19979424
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Leon Horsten (2010). Having an Interpretation. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 150 (3):449 - 459.

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