Predicates of personal taste: empirical data

Synthese 199 (3-4):6455-6471 (2021)
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Abstract

According to contextualism, the extension of claims of personal taste is dependent on the context of utterance. According to truth relativism, their extension depends on the context of assessment. On this view, when the taste preferences of a speaker change, so does the truth value of a previously uttered taste claim, and the speaker might be required to retract it. Both views make strong empirical assumptions, which are here put to the test in three experiments with over 740 participants. It turns out that the linguistic behaviour of ordinary English speakers is consistent with contextualist predictions and inconsistent with the predictions of the most widely discussed form of truth relativism advocated by John MacFarlane.

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Markus Kneer
University of Z├╝rich

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