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Faultless Disagreement and Aesthetic Realism

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It has recently been argued that certain areas of discourse, such as discourse about matters of taste, involve a phenomenon of ‘‘faultless disagreement’’ that rules out giving a standard realist or contextualist semantics for them. Thus, it is argued, we are left with no choice but to consider more adventurous semantic alternatives for these areas, such as a semantic account that involves relativizing truth to perspectives or contexts of assessment. I argue that the sort of faultless disagreement present in these cases is in fact compatible with a realist treatment of their semantics. Then I briefly consider other considerations that might be thought to speak against realism about these areas of discourse. I conclude with the tentative suggestion that realism about matters of taste is far more plausible (at least in some cases) than most philosophers believe today.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Pittsburgh

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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