Meaning Relativism and Subjective Idealism

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An objection put forward by, among others, John McDowell to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s relativist view of semantic discourse goes roughly as follows: relativism about semantic discourse entails global relativism, which in turn entails subjective idealism, which we can reasonably assume to be false. I show that even though relativism about semantic discourse does entail a form of global relativism, the relativism in question does not entail anything like subjective idealism. This particular kind of relativism holds that which character, in Kaplan’s sense, is associated to a given utterance depends on what MacFarlane calls “the context of assessment”.
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