Philosophical Studies 159 (3):407-441 (2012)
AbstractStandard compositionality is the doctrine that the semantic content of a compound expression is a function of the semantic contents of the contentful component expressions. In 1954 Hilary Putnam proposed that standard compositionality be replaced by a stricter version according to which even sentences that are synonymously isomorphic (in the sense of Alonzo Church) are not strictly synonymous unless they have the same logical form. On Putnam’s proposal, the semantic content of a compound expression is a function of: (i) the contentful component expressions; and (ii) the expression’s logical form. Kit Fine recently expanded and modified Putnam’s idea into a sweeping theory in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. The present paper is a detailed critique of Fine’s “semantic relationism.” Fine’s notion of coordination is explained in terms of the familiar pragmatic phenomenon of recognition. A serious error in Fine’s formal disproof of standard Millianism is exposed. It is demonstrated furthermore that Church’s original criticism of Putnam’s proposal can be extended to Fine’s semantic relationism. Finally, it is also demonstrated that the positive position Fine proffers to supplant standard Millianism is in fact exactly equivalent to standard Millianism, so that Fine’s overall position not only does not displace standard Millianism but is in fact inconsistent.
Similar books and articles
Two Versions of Millianism.Scott Soames - 2014 - In Analytic Philosophy in America: And Other Historical and Contemporary Essays. Princeton University Press. pp. 231-264.
Semantics as Information About Semantic Values.Paul Hovda - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):502 - 510.
A Closer Look at Manifest Consequence.Max Weiss - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):471-498.
Eternal Facts in an Ageing Universe.Fabrice Correia & Sven Rosenkranz - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (2):307 - 320.
Review of Kit Fine, Semantic Relationism. [REVIEW]Gary Ostertag - 2009 - Austrlasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):345-9.
Arguing for the Natural Ontological Attitude.Joseph Rouse - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:294 - 301.
The One and Only Argument for Radical Millianism.Max Deutsch - 2006 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (3):427-445.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Frege’s Puzzle is About Identity After All.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):628-643.
Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118.
References found in this work
A Puzzle About Belief.Saul A. Kripke - 1979 - In A. Margalit (ed.), Meaning and Use. Reidel. pp. 239--83.
Speaker’s Reference and Semantic Reference.Saul A. Kripke - 1977 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):255-276.
Is There a Problem About Substitutional Quantification?Saul A. Kripke - 1976 - In Gareth Evans & John McDowell (eds.), Truth and Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 324-419.