Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Knowledge and RealitySelected Essays$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Colin McGinn

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251582

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199251584.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2020

Realist Semantics and Content‐Ascription

Realist Semantics and Content‐Ascription

(p.279) 14 Realist Semantics and Content‐Ascription
Knowledge and Reality

Colin McGinn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

McGinn's target is again Dummettian anti‐realism; this time he argues that Dummett's criticism of realist semantics rests on a questionable theory of content‐ascription. McGinn develops four Twin Earth cases (one of which prefigures Putnam's ‘brain in a vat’) designed to show that, contra Dummett, content is not determined by use (where ‘use’ is understood as ‘the exercise of recognitional capacities in respect of assertability conditions’). But if use does not exhaust content, McGinn argues, then from the fact that verification‐transcendent truth conditions are not present in linguistic use, it does not follow that reality cannot be represented in our sentences.

Keywords:   anti‐realism, brain in a vat, content‐ascription, Dummett, linguistic use, meaning, mental content, propositional attitudes, Putnam, realism, recognitional capacity, Twin Earth

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .