Elgin on Lewis's Putnam's paradox

Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):85-93 (1997)
In "Unnatural Science"(1) Catherine Elgin examines the dilemma which David Lewis sees posed by Putnam's model-theoretic argument against realism. One horn of the dilemma commits us to seeing truth as something all too easily come by, a virtue to be attributed to any theory meeting relatively minimal conditions of adequacy. The other horn commits us to "anti-nominalism", some version of the ancient doctrine that language must "carve nature at the joints": that there are natural kinds or classes which alone qualify as referents (extensions) for our predicates. Elgin offers a searching critique of Lewis' response (accepting the second horn) and an illuminating defence of its contrary: "we cannot construe (mere) truth as the end of scientific inquiry. Not ... because truth is too hard to come by, but because it is too easy" (p. 301)
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI jphil19979424
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Reply to Belot, Elgin, and Horsten. [REVIEW]Fraassen Bas C. Van - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):461 - 472.
Having an Interpretation. [REVIEW]Leon Horsten - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):449 - 459.
A Note on Global Descriptivism and Putnam's Model-Theoretic Argument.Igor Douven - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (3):342 – 348.

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