Philosophical Review 126 (1):43-79 (2017)

David E. Taylor
University of Minnesota
This essay argues that deflationism is incompatible with the phenomenon of referential indeterminacy. This puts the deflationist in the difficult position of having to deny the possibility of what otherwise seems like a manifest and theoretically important phenomenon. Section 1 provides background on deflationism. Section 2 considers an intuitive argument by Stephen Leeds to the effect that deflationism precludes RI; the essay argues that this argument does not succeed. The rest of the essay presents its own, distinct argument for the incompatibility of deflationism and RI. Section 3 argues that direct RI—RI that is not simply a derivative of some other, nonreferential instance of indeterminacy—is strictly incompatible with deflationism. Section 4 considers a couple of different ways the deflationist might try to achieve indirect RI—via indeterminate identity and indeterminate synonymy—and argues that each is unsatisfactory.
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-3683612
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References found in this work BETA

Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Ontological Relativity.W. V. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.

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Citations of this work BETA

Deflationism, Creeping Minimalism, and Explanations of Content.David E. Taylor - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):101-129.
Supervaluationism and Branching Indeterminacy.David E. Taylor - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (2):141-164.
Reference for neo-Fregeans.David E. Taylor - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11505-11536.

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