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Paul Teller
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Modeling Truth.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Many in philosophy understand truth in terms of precise semantic values, true propositions. Following Braun and Sider, I say that in this sense almost nothing we say is, literally, true. I take the stand that this account of truth nonetheless constitutes a vitally useful idealization in understanding many features of the structure of language. The Fregean problem discussed by Braun and Sider concerns issues about application of language to the world. In understanding these issues I propose an alternative modeling tool (...)
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  2. Two Models of Truth.Paul Teller - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):465-472.
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  3. Measurement Accuracy Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    This paper challenges “traditional measurement-accuracy realism”, according to which there are in nature quantities of which concrete systems have definite values. An accurate measurement outcome is one that is close to the value for the quantity measured. For a measurement of the temperature of some water to be accurate in this sense requires that there be this temperature. But there isn’t. Not because there are no quantities “out there in nature” but because the term ‘the temperature of this water’ fails (...)
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  4. Language and the Complexity of the World.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Nature is complex, exceedingly so. A repercussion of this “complex world constraint” is that it is, in practice, impossible to connect words to the world in a foolproof manner. In this paper I explore the ways in which the complex world constraint makes vagueness, or more generally imprecision, in language in practice unavoidable, illuminates what vagueness comes to, and guides us to a sensible way of thinking about truth. Along the way we see that the problem of ceteris paribus laws (...)
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  5.  93
    Making Worlds with Symbols.Paul Teller - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    I modify and generalize Carnap’s notion of frameworks as a way of unpacking Goodman’s metaphor of “making worlds with symbols”. My frameworks provide, metaphorically, a way of making worlds out of symbols in as much as all our framework-bound access to the world is through frameworks that always stand to be improved in accuracy, precision, and usually both. Such improvement is characterized in pragmatist terms.
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  6.  37
    Review: Discussion: What Is a Stance?Paul Teller - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):159 - 170.
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  7.  78
    Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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  8.  77
    Pan-Perspectival Realism Explained and Defended.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Conventional scientific realism is just the doctrine that our theoretical terms refer. Conventional antirealism denies, for various reasons, theoretical reference and takes theory to give us only information about the word of the perceptual where reference, it would appear, is secure. But reference fails for the perceptual every bit as much for the perceptual as for the theoretical, and for the same reason: the world is too complicated for us to succeed in attaching specific referents to our terms. That would (...)
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  9.  21
    Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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