Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-291 (2013)

Although Kripke’s skepticism leads to the conclusion that meaning does not exist, his argument relies upon the supposition that more than one interpretation of words is consistent with linguistic evidence. Relying solely on metaphors, he assumes that there is a multiplicity of possible interpretations without providing any strict proof. In his book The Taming of the True, Neil Tennant pointed out that there are serious obstacles to this thesis and concluded that the skeptic’s nonstandard interpretations are “will o’ wisps.” In this paper, contra Tennant, I demonstrate how to construct alternative interpretations of the language of algebra. These constructed interpretations avoid Tennant’s objections and are shown to be interdefinable with the standard interpretation. Kripke’s skepticism is, as it were, an incarnate demon. In contrast, it is currently uncertain whether the same technique is generally applicable to the construction of an alternative interpretation of natural language. However, the reinterpretation of those aspects of natural language that directly relate to numbers seems to be a promising candidate for the development of nonstandard interpretations of natural language
Keywords Kripke  underdetemination  skepticism  meaning  anti-realism of meaning  Tennant  Wittgenstein  interdefinability  Goodman  alternative hypothesis
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9367-6
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
The Taming of the True.Neil Tennant - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
The Individual Strikes Back.Simon Blackburn - 1984 - Synthese 58 (March):281-302.

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What Is Wrong with Interpretation Q?Eisuke Sakakibara - 2016 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 49 (2):49-65.

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