Philosophical Studies

, Volume 160, Issue 3, pp 477–495 | Cite as

Reply to MacFarlane, Scharp, Shapiro, and Wright

  • Mark Richard

Many thanks to MacFarlane, Scharp, Shapiro, and Wright for their trenchant and very useful comments. It’s an honor to be so vigorously and well criticized. What follows takes up four topics: the idea that the central notion in semantics and logic is that of an apt or appropriate commitment; defense of what When Truth Gives Out (WT, henceforth) says about vagueness, along with remarks on higher order vagueness; how invoking speech acts beyond assertion adds to our understanding of the semantic paradoxes; disagreement and relativism.

Commitments and semantics

Chapters 2 and 3 of WT make three points. (1) One kind of expressivist semantics has a straightforward response to the Frege–Geach problem; (2) this semantics helps explain how we can correctly say that a sentence or claim is neither true nor false, and thus affords some insight into vagueness and semantic paradox; (3) it also provides a response to worries that expressivist and emotivist accounts of evaluative language can’t give a...


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  2. MacFarlane, J. (2007). Relativism and disagreement. Philosophical Studies, 132, 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Richard, M. (2010). Indeterminacy and truth value gaps. In R. Dietz & S. Moruzzi (Eds.), Cuts and clouds. Vagueness, its nature, and its logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Richard, M. (2011). Relativistic content and disagreement. Philosophical Studies. doi: 10.1007/s11098-010-9687-9.
  5. Richard, M. (Manuscript A). What would an expressivist semantics be? Available online at
  6. Richard, M. (Manuscript B). Classical logic with truth value gaps and without supervaluations. Available online at
  7. Richard, M. (Manuscript C). What is disagreement? Available online at

Copyright information

© All rights reserved 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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