Boghossian's Implicit Definition Template

In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Philosophical and Formal Approaches to Linguistic Analysis. Ontos-Verlag. pp. 15 (2012)

Abstract

In Boghossian's 1997 paper, 'Analyticity' he presented an account of a prioriknowledge of basic logical principles as available by inference from knowledge of their role in determining the meaning of the logical constants by implicit definitiontogether with knowledge of the meanings so-determined that we possess through ourprivileged access to meaning. Some commentators (e.g. BonJour (1998), Glüer (2003),Jenkins (2008)) have objected that if the thesis of implicit definition on which he relieswere true, knowledge of the meaning of the constants would presuppose knowledge of the very logical principles knowledge of which the account purports to explain. Aconsequence would seem to be that implicit definition is incompatible with privilegedaccess. I argue that whilst it is possible for Boghossian to defend against theseobjections the form of argument he proposes does exhibit a subtle form of questionbegging such that it exhibits a transmission of warrant-failure.

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Ben Baker
Birkbeck College (PhD)

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Truth by Convention.W. V. Quine - 1936 - In Philosophical Essays for Alfred North Whitehead. London: Longmans, Green & Co.. pp. 90–124.
.Gilbert Harman - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.

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