The metaphysics of words

Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):193 - 214 (1996)

Authors
Roy Sorensen
Washington University in St. Louis
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.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00372782
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References found in this work BETA

The Language Instinct.Steven Pinker - 1995 - Harper Perennial.
Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.James Cargile - 1959 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 38 (2):320-323.
Vagueness, Truth and Logic.Kit Fine - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
Philosophy of Logic.W. V. O. Quine - 1970 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Inexpressible Properties and Grelling’s Antinomy.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):369 - 385.
The Tao of Metaphysics.Philipp Keller & Elena Cassetta - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.

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