Lewis and his critics on putnam´s paradox

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Abstract
The model-theoretic argument known as Putnam´s paradox threatens our notion of truth with triviality: Almost any world can satisfy almost any theory. Formal argument and intuition are at odds. David Lewis devised a solution according to which the very stucture of the world fixes how it is to be divided into elite classes which determine the reference of any true theory. Three claims are defended: Firstly, Lewis´ proposal must be completed by an account of successful referential intentions. Secondly, contrary to Catherine Elgin´s criticism of Lewis, natural properties corresponding to elite classes may play a role in sound scientific inquiry. Thirdly, despite Bas van Fraassen´s objection that the sceptic cannot consistently maintain doubts about reference, there is a promising sceptical strategy of exploiting Putnam´s results which is answered by Lewis´ account.
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Archival date: 2017-06-12
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2009-06-28

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