This paper explores the possibility of resisting meaning scepticism -- the thesis that there are many alternative incompatible assignments of reference to each of our terms -- by appealing to the idea that the nature of reference is to maximize knowledge. If the reference relation is a knowledge maximizing-relation, then some candidate referents are privileged among the others -- i.e., those referents we are in a position to know about -- and a positive reason against meaning scepticism is thus individuated. A knowledge-maximizing principle on the nature of reference was proposed by Williamson in a recent paper (Williamson 2004). According to Williamson, such a principle would count as a defeasible reason for thinking that most of our beliefs tend to be true. My paper reverses Williamson's dialectic, and argues that reference is knowledge-maximizing from the premise that most of our beliefs tend to be true. I will therefore defend such premise on different grounds than Williamson's, and precisely by revisiting a Naturalist argument he rejected, centred on the role of true beliefs in successful action. In the conclusion, an opposition to meaning-scepticism comes out as motivated by the knowledge-maximizing nature of reference, and backed by the plausibility of the claim that beliefs tend to be true.
|Citazione:||Lalumera, E. (2007). Reference, Knowledge, and Skepticism about Meaning. SORITES, 2007(19), 108-121.|
|Tipo:||Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico|
|Carattere della pubblicazione:||Scientifica|
|Titolo:||Reference, Knowledge, and Skepticism about Meaning|
|Data di pubblicazione:||apr-2007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su rivista|