Pragmatism, Truth and Response-Dependence

Facta Philosophica 7 (2):231-253 (2005)

Andrew Howat
California State University, Fullerton
Mark Johnston claims the pragmatist theory of truth is inconsistent with the way we actually employ and talk about that concept. He is, however, sympathetic enough to attempt to rescue its respectable core using ‘response-dependence’, a revisionary form of which he advocates as a method for clarifying various philosophically significant concepts. But Johnston has misrepresented pragmatism; it does not require rescuing, and as I show here, his ‘missing explanation argument’ against pragmatism therefore fails. What Johnston and other critics including Putnam have overlooked is the distinctive nature of the pragmatist strategy, specifically, that it is non-reductive, a characteristic it shares with a more promising form of response-dependence; what Johnston calls ‘Descriptive Protagoreanism’ (DP). In this paper I offer a defence of pragmatism and show how it might be re-articulated as a form of DP.
Keywords pragmatism  response-dependence  realism  truth  concepts  semantics  color
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3726/93520_231
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,206
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

Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Kathleen Okruhlik - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 51 (4):692-694.
Scientific Essentialism.H. Beebee - 2001 - Mind 113 (450):334-340.
The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.Edward Craig & Simon Blackburn - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (2):250.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
290 ( #22,423 of 2,285,684 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #417,490 of 2,285,684 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature