On the copernican turn in semantics

Theoria 74 (4):295-317 (2008)
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Abstract
Alberto Coffa used the phrase "the Copernican turn in semantics" to denote a revolutionary transformation of philosophical views about the connection between the meanings of words and the acceptability of sentences and arguments containing those words. According to the new conception resulting from the Copernican turn, here called "the Copernican view", rules of use are constitutive of the meanings of words. This view has been linked with two doctrines: (A) the instances of meaning-constitutive rules are analytically and a priori true or valid; (B) to grasp a meaning is to accept its rules. The pros and cons of different versions of the Copernican view, ascribable to Wittgenstein, Carnap, Gentzen, Dummett, Prawitz, Boghossian and other authors, will be weighed. A new version will be proposed, which implies neither (A) nor (B).
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