Meaning holism and de re ascription

Whiting, Daniel (2008) Meaning holism and de re ascription. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 38, (4), 575-599. (doi:10.1353/cjp.0.0033).


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According to inferential role semantics, for an expression to have a meaning is for it to have a role in inference. It is widely recognised that any such theory seems to face a communication problem. Since no two speakers share the same beliefs, they will inevitably make different inferential transitions involving an expression. Hence, given inferential role semantics, the same word in different mouths will possess a different meaning and be understood differently. In this paper, I outline Brandom’s proposed solution, which involves an appeal to de re ascriptions. That strategy, I argue, fails in several respects to solve the communication problem.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1353/cjp.0.0033
ISSNs: 0045-5091 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: brandom, meaning, holism, de re, de dicto, inferentialism, inferential role semantics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ePrint ID: 59095
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
December 2008Published
19 October 2007Submitted
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:40

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