Putnam's Model‐Theoretic Arguments

Barry Taylor

in Models, Truth, and Realism

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780199286690
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604065 | DOI:
 Putnam's Model‐Theoretic Arguments

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This chapter sets out the relevant core of Putnam’s case. Section 3.1 extracts three arguments from Putnam’s writings: the Arguments from Cardinality, Completeness, and Permutation. Of these, section 3.2 argues that only the second is of direct relevance. Section 3.3 examines attempts to frame constraints based on causal and psycho-behavioural reductions of reference. Section 3.4 investigates the Translational Reference Constraint (TRC), a constraint on reference which does not rely on a reduction of reference but makes essential use of translation (from object language to metalanguage) to sort out the models which get reference right. The claims made in this section, however, require foundation in a theory of translation, sufficient to sustain the assumptions it makes about that controversial and opaque notion. This foundation is supplied in section 3.5, whose general tenor is Davidsonian, its key notion being that of a ‘hermeneutic theory’, i.e., a Davidsonian theory of interpretation cast into model-theoretic terms. With Translational Truth Constraint (TTC) now identified as the most fundamental constraint on intendedness, it remains to see if it will suffice to rule out as unintended all the models of ideal theory whose existence the Completeness Theorem guarantees. The issue is examined in section 3.6.

Keywords: Hilary Putnam; model-theoretic; cardinality; Completeness Theorem; permutation; Translational Reference Constraint; reference; Davidson; hermeneutic theory; Translational Truth Constraint

Chapter.  16705 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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