Erkenntnis 67 (3):373 - 386 (2007)
It is widely held that the meaning of certain types of terms, such as natural kind terms, is individuated externalistically, in terms of the individual's external environment. Recently a more radical thesis has emerged, a thesis we dub 'a posteriori semantics.' The suggestion is that not only does a term's meaning depend on the external environment, but so does its semantics. One motivation for this is the aim to account for cases where a putative natural kind term fails to pick out a natural kind: The term may have a standard externalist semantics (if it picks out a natural kind) or a more descriptivist one (if it does not). Knowing which semantics applies will therefore require detailed empirical knowledge. This move has also been employed in cases where a singular term, such as a name, fails to have a reference. We argue that a posteriori semantics is inherently implausible, since the type of semantics common terms should be given ought not to be conditional on details of chemistry or physics. A number of difficulties for the position—'metaphysical,' epistemological, and methodological—are articulated. Finally, we suggest that a posteriori semantics misconstrues the way in which semantics is empirical.
|Keywords||Externalism Natural kind terms Semantics Meaning Intentions A posteriori|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
Knowing One's Own Mind.Donald Davidson - 1987 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 60 (3):441-458.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Citations of this work BETA
Meta-Externalism Vs Meta-Internalism in the Study of Reference.Daniel Cohnitz & Jussi Haukioja - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):475-500.
Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
Similar books and articles
Color Terms and Semantic Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):399-420.
Two-Dimensionalism and the “Knowing Which” Requirement.Hagit Benbaji - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (1):55-67.
Some Externalist Strategies and Their Problems.Howard M. Robinson - 2003 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (7):21-34.
Kripke, the Necessary a Posteriori, and the Two-Dimensionalist Heresy.Scott Soames - 2006 - In Garc (ed.), Two-Dimensional Semantics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 272--292.
An Anti-Individualistic Semantics for 'Empty' Natural Kind Terms.Sanford Goldberg - 2005 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 70 (1):147-168.
'Chocolate' and Other Kind Terms: Implications for Semantic Externalism.Mark Greene - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):270-292.
Knowing That One Knows What One is Talking About.Susana Nuccetelli - 2003 - In New Essays on Semantic Externalism and Self-Knowledge. MIT Press. pp. 169--184.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads211 ( #17,268 of 2,146,802 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #120,194 of 2,146,802 )
How can I increase my downloads?
There are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.