Synthese 192 (2):487-503 (2015)

Abraham D. Graber Graber
Western Illinois University
In this paper I will argue that there is a bi-directional relationship between philosophy and meaning such that doing philosophy can change the meaning of terms. A rhetorically powerful work of philosophy that garners widespread interest has the potential to change how people use a predicate. This gives rise to three concerns. First, one’s conclusion can become right in virtue of one doing a particularly good job arguing for it. Second, it may be implausible to take philosophy to be a primarily descriptive enterprise. Part of the job of the philosopher is to proselytize about the correct usage of a word. Lastly, and most worrisome of all, the age-old method of the dialectic, a centerpiece of the philosophical project for thousands of years, threatens to plunge a range of domains of philosophical discourse into incoherence
Keywords Meta-philosophy  Methodological artifact  Dialectic  Meaning
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0580-5
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

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