Authors
Daniel Dohrn
Università degli Studi di Milano
Abstract
The model-theoretic argument known as Putnam´s paradox threatens our notion of truth with triviality: Almost any world can satisfy almost any theory. Formal argument and intuition are at odds. David Lewis devised a solution according to which the very stucture of the world fixes how it is to be divided into elite classes which determine the reference of any true theory. Three claims are defended: Firstly, Lewis´ proposal must be completed by an account of successful referential intentions. Secondly, contrary to Catherine Elgin´s criticism of Lewis, natural properties corresponding to elite classes may play a role in sound scientific inquiry. Thirdly, despite Bas van Fraassen´s objection that the sceptic cannot consistently maintain doubts about reference, there is a promising sceptical strategy of exploiting Putnam´s results which is answered by Lewis´ account.
Keywords Lewis  semantics  Putnam  natural  van Fraassen  Putnam's paradox  reference  magnetism
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References found in this work BETA

Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Hilary Putnam - 1978 - Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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Lewis on Reference and Eligibility.J. R. G. Williams - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 367-382.
Elgin on Lewis’s Putnam’s Paradox.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):85-93.
Putnam’s Paradox.David Lewis - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):221 – 236.

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