David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 180 (2):121 - 137 (2011)
My main aim in this paper is to clarify the concepts of referential success and of referential continuity that are so crucial to the scientific realism debate. I start by considering the three dominant theories of reference and the intuitions that motivate each of them. Since several intuitions cited in support of one theory conflict with intuitions cited in support of another something has to give way. The traditional policy has been to reject all intuitions that clash with a chosen theory. A more radical policy, tied to some experimental philosophers, has called for the rejection of any evidential role for intuitions. I explore a largely ignored third alternative, i.e. saving intuitions (and their evidential role) even when they are at odds. To accommodate conflicting intuitions different sets of internally consistent (yet externally inconsistent) intuitions are taken to lend credence to different concepts of reference. In the current context, this means that the concepts of referential success and referential continuity are not monolithic. They are what I call 'polylithic'. This paper is as much about meta-philosophical concerns with the role of intuitions as it is about reference and the scientific realism debate. Regarding the former I hope that a blueprint will emerge for similar projects in other philosophical domains. Regarding the latter, I hope that polylithicity helps disentangle claims about referential success and continuity in the scientific realism debate by making perspicuous which concepts are best equipped to evaluate the realist's epistemic claims against the historical record of science
|Keywords||Scientific realism Reference Theory change Intuitions Experimental philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg (2007). Analytic Epistemology and Experimental Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 2 (1):56–80.
M. Devitt (2003). Theories of Reference. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group. 3--904.
Michael Devitt (1990). Meanings Just Ain't in the Head. In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press. 79--104.
Keith S. Donnellan (1966). Reference and Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
Gareth Evans (1973). The Causal Theory of Names. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47:187–208.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Frank Hofmann (2010). Intuitions, Concepts, and Imagination. Philosophical Psychology 23 (4):529-546.
Henry Jackman (2009). Semantic Intuitions, Conceptual Analysis, and Cross-Cultural Variation. Philosophical Studies 146 (2):159 - 177.
Edouard Machery, Christopher Y. Olivola & Molly De Blanc (2009). Linguistic and Metalinguistic Intuitions in the Philosophy of Language. Analysis 69 (4):689-694.
S. Matthew Liao (2008). A Defense of Intuitions. Philosophical Studies 140 (2):247 - 262.
Kent Bach (2002). Seemingly Semantic Intuitions. In Joseph K. Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth - Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. 21--33.
James Genone (2012). Theories of Reference and Experimental Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 7 (2):152-163.
Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2009). Against Arguments From Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
Joel Pust (2000). Intuitions as Evidence. Routledge.
Janet Levin (2007). Can Modal Intuitions Be Evidence for Essentialist Claims? Inquiry 50 (3):253 – 269.
Jennifer Zamzow & Shaun Nichols (2009). Variations in Ethical Intuitions. In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.. 368-388.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #78,313 of 1,089,047 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )
How can I increase my downloads?