On creeping minimalism and the nature of minimal entities

In Heather Dyke (ed.), From Truth to Reality (Routledge) (2009)
Luca Moretti
University of Aberdeen
The general tendency or attitude that Dreier 2004 calls creeping minimalism is ramping up in contemporary analytic philosophy. Those who entertain this attitude will take for granted a framework of deflationary or minimal notions – principally semantical1 and ontological – by means of which to analyse problems in different philosophical fields – e.g. theory of truth, metaethics, philosophy of language, the debate on realism and antirealism, etc. Let us call sweeping minimalist the philosopher affected by creeping minimalism. The framework of minimal notions that the sweeping minimalist takes for granted encompasses, for instance, the concept of truth, reference, proposition, fact, individual, and property. Minimal notions are characterized in terms of general platitudinous principles expressed by schemata like the following (cf.: 26): ‘S’ is true if and only if S; ‘S’ is true if and only if ‘S’ corresponds to the facts; a has the property of being P if and only if a is P. Where ‘S’ and ‘a is P’ stand for sentences satisfying superficial constraints of truth-aptitude (i.e. sentences in declarative form subject to communally acknowledged standards of proper use), and..
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