Theoria 9 (2):39-60 (1994)

Cristina Lafont
Northwestern University
The main thesis of this article consists in that the two concepts “reference” and “truth” have an ultimate realist sense of which all epistemologizing conceptions -like relativism and incommensurabilist theses- necessarily have to come short. The arguments for this thesis are embedded in a revision of the ‘direct’-reference-position as well as of recent arguments against epistemic notions of truth, to show in the next,evaluating step how it is exactly the realist kernel of both concepts that makes arguments as to the corrective function of both notions within epistemic practices possible. This nucleus of both notions, necessary for every intent to explain learning from experience, consists in the supposition of an objective world to which all speakers refer using the same concepts and which is represented by their statements. This supposition does not inevitably have to be interpreted as a metaphysical postulate of a world in itself, but can be seen, the author argues, as a necessary formal presupposition ofcommunication, which is mastered by the speakers themselves through their having learned to use desigantive expressions referentially as well as to use the true/false distinction in its normative bipolarity
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DOI theoria1994923
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