Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):321–336 (2003)

Authors
John MacFarlane
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
If it is not now determined whether there will be a sea battle tomorrow, can an assertion that there will be one be true? The problem has persisted because there are compelling arguments on both sides. If there are objectively possible futures which would make the prediction true and others which would make it false, symmetry considerations seem to forbid counting it either true or false. Yet if we think about how we would assess the prediction tomorrow, when a sea battle is raging (or not), it seems we must assign the utterance a definite truth-value. I argue that both arguments must be given their due, and that this requires relativizing utterance-truth to a context of assessment. I show how this relativization can be handled in a rigorous formal semantics, and I argue that we can make coherent sense of assertion without assuming that utterances have their truth-values absolutely.
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9213.00315
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References found in this work BETA

Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Index, Context, and Content.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Stig Kanger & Sven Öhman (eds.), Philosophy and Grammar. Reidel. pp. 79-100.
Expression and Meaning.John Searle - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Relativism and Disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
Making Sense of Relative Truth.John MacFarlane - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):321–339.
Faultless Disagreement.Max Kölbel - 2004 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 104 (1):53-73.

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