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Analytic Truths—Still Harmless After All These Years?

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Abstract:

Hilary Putnam once proposed a semantic approach to, as well as a deflationist resolution of, the problem of analyticity. I take up and defend both ideas. First of all, I defend Putnam's semantic construal of the issue against Quine's reductive understanding. Secondly, I devise a semantics that successfully explains the genesis of the relevant analytic truths and that shows them to be harmless. Finally, I rebut the aspirations of the neo-descriptivist semantics, prominently propounded by David Chalmers and Frank Jackson, that is widely presumed to spearhead the re-establishment of substantial analyticities. I conclude that analytic truths—at least those discussed—are indeed harmless.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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