Denial and retraction: a challenge for theories of taste predicates

Synthese 196 (4):1555-1573 (2019)
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Abstract

Sentences containing predicates of personal taste exhibit two striking features: whether they are true seems to lie in the eye of the beholder and whether they are true can be—and often is—subject to disagreement. In the last decade, there has been a lively debate about how to account for these two features. In this paper, I shall argue for two claims: first, I shall show that even the most promising approaches so far offered by proponents of so-called indexical contextualism fail to account for the disagreement feature. They might be able to account for some disagreement data, but they have trouble accounting for two kinds of disagreement data that caused the estrangement from indexical contextualism and the migration to relativism in the first place: the denial and the retraction data. Second, I shall show that we still do not have to abandon indexical contextualism, because what I shall call the superiority approach—a new pragmatically extended version of indexical contextualism—can very well account for the data.

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Author's Profile

Julia Zakkou
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

References found in this work

Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by John Hawthorne.
Scorekeeping in a language game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Common ground.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):701-721.

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