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Meaning DiminishedToward Metaphysically Modest Semantics$
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Kenneth A. Taylor

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803447

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803447.001.0001

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Modesty as Incompleteness

Modesty as Incompleteness

Feature or Bug?

(p.105) 5 Modesty as Incompleteness
Meaning Diminished

Kenneth A. Taylor

Oxford University Press

Metaphysical modesty may be thought to be a form of incompleteness. And incompleteness may be thought to be a bug rather than a feature. But it is argued that the incompleteness of a metaphysically modest semantics is a feature rather than a bug. It is a feature that both lightens the metaphysical burdens of the special science of semantics and thereby brings semantics into greater metaphysical alignment with the special sciences generally. It is argued that there is no more reason to think that a semantics not weighed down by metaphysical burdens is a bar to ever deepening metaphysical insight any more than a psychology or biology or economics not weighed down by heavy metaphysical burdens would be.

Keywords:   special sciences, metaphysical incompleteness, truth similitude, veridical language games, non-veridical language games, objective representations, objectual representations

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