Semantic Challenges to Realism [Book Review]

Dialogue 41 (2):405-406 (2002)
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Semantic realism is the view that sentences can be true even if speakers cannot know that they are. Anti-realists believe that sentences cannot be true unless speakers can know that they are. The difference between the two positions can be characterized as a dispute about truth conditions. Realists believe that they are objective, that is, they can obtain even though speakers cannot know that they do. Anti-realists believe that truth conditions are always recognizable. Two major lines of argument have been advanced against semantic realism. Dummett initially advanced the first, considered in Part 1 of this book. The other, considered in Part 2, is attributable to Hilary Putnam.



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James O. Young
University of Victoria

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