Semantic Dispositionalism without Exceptions

Philosophical Studies:1-21 (forthcoming)

Authors
Arvid Båve
Stockholm University
Abstract
Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, rather than disposition attributions, but which is otherwise similar to inferentialist versions of dispositionalism. I argue that it can handle all the exceptions discussed in the literature without recourse to ceteris paribus clauses. Psychological exceptions are handled by suitably undemanding requirements (unlike that of giving the sum of any two numbers) and by setting the following two preconditions upon someone’s making the inference: that she considers the inference and has no motivating reason against it. The non-psychological exceptions, i.e., cases of neural malfunctioning, are handled by requiring that the counterfactuals be true sufficiently often during the relevant interval. I argue that this accommodates some important intuitions about concept possession, in particular, the intuition that concept possession is vague along a certain dimension.
Keywords dispositionalism  Kripke  Kripkenstein  dispositions  meaning  reduction  rule following  content  concepts
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-019-01283-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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

What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
The Moral Problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 1 (1):125-126.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):455-464.
Finkish Dispositions.David Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.

View all 63 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Killing Kripkenstein's Monster.Jared Warren - forthcoming - Wiley: Noûs.
In Defence of Pan-Dispositionalism.Simon Bostock - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (2):139-157.
Why Pan-Dispositionalism is Incompatible with Metaphysical Naturalism.Travis Dumsday - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):107-122.
Kripke on Color Words and the Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2011 - In Alan Berger (ed.), Saul Kripke. Cambridge University Press. pp. 290-323.
Real Dispositions: An Investigation Into the Nature of Dispositional Properties.Jan Hauska - 2003 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Non-Factualist Dispositionalism.Manuel Heras-Escribano - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):607-629.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-03-17

Total views
90 ( #83,210 of 2,237,323 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
90 ( #5,122 of 2,237,323 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature