Meaning, Colouring, and Logic: Kaplan vs. Frege on Pejoratives

Princípios: Revista de Filosofia 29 (59):151-171 (2022)
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In this essay I consider Kaplan’s challenge to Frege’s so-called dictum: “Logic (and perhaps even truth) is immune to epithetical color”. I show that if it is to challenge anything, it rather challenges the view (attributable to Frege) that logic is immune to pejorative colour. This granted, I show that Kaplan’s inference-based challenge can be set even assuming that the pejorative doesn’t make any non-trivial truth-conditional (descriptive) contribution. This goes against the general tendency to consider the truth-conditionally inert logically irrelevant. But I take it that Kaplan is right and take his examples to show that truth-conditional inertness need not entail inferential inertness. I end up assessing the Kaplan-Frege “debate” as giving edge to the former to the extent that clarity is achieved through Kaplanian inferences on what should be considered part of the explanandum.

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Ludovic Soutif
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro


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