Warrant and Objectivity

Dissertation, Kings College London (2008)
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Abstract
Wright's _Truth and Objectivity_ seeks to systematise a variety of anti-realist positions. I argue that many objections to the system are avoided by transposing its talk of truth into talk of warrant. However, a problem remains about debates involving 'direction-of-fit'. Dummett introduced 'anti-realism' as a philosophical view informed by mathematical intuitionism. Subsequently, the term has been associated with many debates, ancient and modern. _Truth and Objectivity_ proposes that truth admits of different characteristics; these various debates then concern which characteristics truth has, in a given area. This pluralism of truth is at odds with deflationism. I find fault with Wright's argument against deflationism. However, transmission of warrant across the Disquotational Schema suffices to ground Wright's proposal, which survives as a pluralism of classes of warrant. The two main debates concern whether truths are always knowable (Epistemic Constraint) and whether disagreements in an area must be down to some fault of one of those involved (Cognitive Command). I introduce Assertoric Constraint, relating to Epistemic Constraint, where truths cannot outstrip the availability of warrant for their assertion. I solve a structural problem by a comparison with a constitutive analysis of Moore's Paradox. The relativism of blameless disagreement is problematic. Wright's response invokes a sort of ignorance which he calls `Quandary'. I criticise this before proposing an alternative. I agree with Wright that Dummett's original anti-realism does not belong among the positions which Wright seeks to systematise. However, two candidates show that the proposal suffers a weakness. Wright thinks Expressivism misguided, and implicitly rules out his earlier non-cognitivism about necessity. I argue that Expressivism has promise, and I endorse Wright's Cautious Man argument for non-cognitivism about necessity; both involve play with `direction-of-fit'. I conclude that this sort of anti-realist debate needs to be accommodated by the proposal.
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Finkish Dispositions.Lewis, David K.
On Denoting.Russell, Bertrand

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