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PERMUTATIONS AND FOSTER PROBLEMS: TWO PUZZLES OR ONE?

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Abstract

How are permutation arguments for the inscrutability of reference to be formulated in the context of a Davidsonian truth-theoretic semantics? Davidson (1979) takes these arguments to establish that there are no grounds for favouring a reference scheme that assigns London to ‘Londres’, rather than one that assigns Sydney to that name. We shall see, however, that it is far from clear whether permutation arguments work when set out in the context of the kind of truth-theoretic semantics which Davidson favours. The principle required to make the argument work allows us to resurrect Foster problems against the Davidsonian position. The Foster problems and the permutation inscrutability problems stand or fall together: they are one puzzle, not two. 1
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Metaphysics and MindDepartment of Philosophy,University of Leeds, Email: j.r.g.williams@leeds.ac.uk

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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