Ontological disagreements, reference, and charity: A challenge for Hirsch's deflationism

Theoria (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Eli Hirsch argues that certain ontological disputes involve a conflict between “equivalent” languages, and that the principle of charity compels each disputant to interpret the other as speaking truly in their own language. For Hirsch, a language’s semantics maps sentences (in context) onto sets of possible worlds but assigns no role to reference. I argue that this method leads to an overly uncharitable portrayal of the disputes at issue – whereby ontologists who speak “equivalent” languages can only argue about syntax. Lack of charity stems from the fact that this portrayal likely fails to uphold the self-conception of the disputants – and particularly what I will call “the weak self-conception”. As a result, Hirsch’s deflationism falls victim of the same principle of charity that informs it.
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2022-06-20
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #67,296 of 70,235 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
31 ( #27,596 of 70,235 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.