Prolegomena 13 (2):253–268 (2014)

Authors
Andrei Moldovan
Universidad de Salamanca
Abstract
What is it for an utterance of an expression to lack meaning? In this paper I address the issue along the lines of Carnap’s seminal article “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology”. Carnap provides there an answer to the above question, which he then uses to argue that certain claims of metaphysics are meaningless. In the first section of the paper I present Carnap’s argument for the meaninglessness of certain metaphysical claims. In the second section I argue that, although the argument is not compelling, the main virtue of Carnap’s proposal is the strategy he develops for generating meaningless uses of language. In the third section I propose an externalist criterion of meaningless uses of expressions that relies on semantic externalist considerations. This, I argue, bears significant resemblances to Carnap’s proposal. In the last section I discuss the applicability of the new criterion to the question concerning the meaning of metaphysical claims.
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.

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