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The Explication Defence of Arguments from Reference

Pinder, Mark (2017). The Explication Defence of Arguments from Reference. Erkenntnis, 82(6) pp. 1253–1276.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-016-9868-9
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Abstract

In a number of influential papers, Machery, Mallon, Nichols and Stich have presented a powerful critique of so-called arguments from reference, arguments that assume that a particular theory of reference is correct in order to establish a substantive conclusion. The critique is that, due to cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions supposedly undermining the standard methodology for theorising about reference, the assumption that a theory of reference is correct is unjustified. I argue that the many extant responses to Machery et al.’s critique do little for the proponent of an argument from reference, as they do not show how to justify the problematic assumption. I then argue that it can in principle be justified by an appeal to Carnapian explication. I show how to apply the explication defence to arguments from reference given by Andreasen (for the biological reality of race) and by Churchland (against the existence of beliefs and desires).

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Author
ISSN: 1572-8420
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 56630
Depositing User: Mark Pinder
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2018 13:32
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 00:31
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/56630
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