Advertisement

Axiomathes

pp 1–18 | Cite as

In Defence of Metametasemantics

  • Filip KawczyńskiEmail author
Original Paper
  • 30 Downloads

Abstract

In the paper I defend the idea of metametasemantics against the arguments recently presented by Ori Simchen (2017). Simchen attacks the view, according to which metametasemantics incorporating all possible metasemantic accounts is necessary to protect the metasemantic theories from the notorious problem of inscrutability of reference (see Sider 2011). Simchen claims that if metametasemantics is allowed it ‘absorbs’ metasemantic theories to the extent that it diminishes their explanatory value. Furthermore, in this way Simchen sets up two main metasemantic paradigms i.e. productivism (roughly speaking: speaker’s metasemantics) and interpretationism (audience’s metasemantics) as the rival theories inevitably excluding each other. I endeavour to undermine Simchen’s point by demonstrating that his argumentation mixes up deflationary reading of the predicate ‘is true’ with its substantial reading. Consequently, I demonstrate that accepting metametasemantics does not diminish explanatory value of various metasemantic theories and thus that there is no good reason to forbid metametasemantics. I also argue that even if we ignore the above-mentioned confusion in Simchen’s reasoning, his arguments still fail when considering various problems with the notion of diminishment of explanatory value and because the analogy that his arguments are based on is fairly weak. Eventually, I conclude that metametasemantics does not pose any danger to metasemantics and that it provides a solid ground for developing a theory that benefits from both productivism and interpretationism.

Keywords

Metasemantics Metametasemantics Magnetism Interpretationism Global descriptivism Explanatory value 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding

The work on this paper has been funded by National Science Center, Poland, grant under award number 2018/31/D/HS1/03745.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Burgess A, Sherman B (2014) Introduction: a plea for the metaphysics of meaning. In: Burgess A, Sherman B (eds) Metasemantics: new essays on the foundations of meaning. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fodor JA (1987) Psychosemantics: the problem of meaning in the philosophy of mind. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lewis D (1984) Putnam’s paradox. Australas J Philos 62(3):221–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Millikan RG (1989) Biosemantics. J Philos 86:281–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Millikan RG (2005) Language: a biological model. Clarendon Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Putnam H (1977) Realism and reason. Proc Addr Am Philos Assoc 50(6):483–498Google Scholar
  7. Quine WV (1970) Philosophy of logic. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Schwarz W (2014) Against magnetism. Australas J Philos 92(1):17–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Sider T (2011) Writing the book of the world. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Simchen O (2017) Semantics, metasemantics, aboutness. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Williams JRG (2007) Eligibility and inscrutability. Philos Rev 116(3):361–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Williamson T (2004) Philosphical ‘intuitions’ and scepticism about judgement. Dialectica 58(1):109–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

Personalised recommendations