Chapter

Some Remarks about Minimalism

Simon Blackburn

in Mind, Meaning, and Knowledge

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199278053
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745386 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278053.003.0008
Some Remarks about Minimalism

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The chapter argues that deflationist positions about truth — in particular Paul Horwich’s and Hartry Field’s — are unstable insofar as they guarantee deflationism by inflating other notions. It is maintained that Field’s minimalism relies on the inflationary role of truth-conditions. Horwich’s view, in contrast, is found wanting because it amounts to a contentious form of particularism based on the idea that the reference of terms hinges on our disposition to accept it in the appropriate circumstances. This notion is, in turn, characterized in terms of causal relations, which directly leads to an inflationist territory. In closing, the chapter agrees with Wright that while different discourses may vary from being genuinely representational to purely expressivist, that does not stand in the way of the possibility of embedding sentences characteristic of either domain within truth-disquotational schemas.

Keywords: deflationism; expressivism; indication relations; minimalism; particularism; propositions; reference; truth

Chapter.  8222 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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