The metaphysics of words

Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):193 - 214 (1996)
Abstract
Semantic indeterminacy is the ether of philosophy of language. It fills the interstices of our intentions and pervades accounts of presupposition, tense, fiction, translation, and especially, vagueness. Yet semantic indeterminacy is as impossible as ectoplasm. Indeed, more so! The demonstration need only borrow a few assumptions used elsewhere in widely accepted impossibility results. Since an impossibility is never a necessary condition for anything actual, semantic indeterminacy must be superfluous. Language is no more explained by semantic indeterminacy than calculus is explained by (pre-Robinsonian) infinitesimals.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00372782
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Language Instinct.Steven Pinker - 1995 - Harper Perennial.
Philosophy of Logic.W. V. Quine - 1970 - Harvard University Press.
Blindspots.Roy A. Sorensen - 1988 - Oxford University Press.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Inexpressible Properties and Grelling's Antinomy.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):369 - 385.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Indeterminate Truth.Patrick Greenough - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):213-241.
Deep Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Bradford Skow - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (241):851 - 858.
Indeterminacy and Interpretation.Günter Abel - 1994 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):403 – 419.
Vagueness and Second-Level Indeterminacy.Matti Eklund - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
54 ( #105,405 of 2,210,518 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #227,011 of 2,210,518 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature