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Talking About NothingNumbers, Hallucinations and Fictions$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738946.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Scientific Languages, Ontology, and Truth

Scientific Languages, Ontology, and Truth

(p.166) 4 Scientific Languages, Ontology, and Truth
Talking About Nothing

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter first describes older approaches to the unity of science: strong reductionism and supervenience, and relates their drawbacks to the widespread practice—in the sciences—of referring to entities that don’t exist. Then it is shown how actual confirmation and deduction relations are established between discourses containing very different kinds of vocabulary by the use of gross correlational regularities, and it is shown how this is compatible with a minimal form of physicalism. Two extended illustrations, one from biology and the other from neurophysiology, are characterized. The chapter then turns to explaining how the forgoing analysis bears negatively on two forms of pluralism: logical pluralism and truth pluralism. The latter is undercut both in a form that takes our various discourses to have different truth predicates, and in the more innocuous form of taking there to be various truth-properties that different statements have.

Keywords:   strong reductionism, supervenience, logical pluralism, truth pluralism, gross correlational regularities, minimal physicalism, blind truth-ascription

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