Dialectica 63 (2):157-174 (2009)
Paul Horwich has claimed that we can derive a certain form of the principle of compositionality from a deflationary account of what it is to understand a complex expression. If this were the case, we would realize a surprising theoretical economy, and if the derivation involved basic ideas from a use theory of meaning, we would have a novel argument for use theories of meaning. Horwich does not offer a detailed derivation. In this paper I reconstruct a possible derivation and show that it begs the question. I then extend my discussion to explain why it is unlikely that alternative arguments can fare better.
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