Toward a Metaphysically Modest Semantics, Kenneth Taylor

08 de setembro às 16h – “On the very Idea of Metaphysical Modesty in Semantics”
09 de setembro às 16h – “The Way of Ideas vs the Way of Reference in Semantics”
11 de setembro às 15h – “On Correspondence, Meaning, Truth and Use”

Organização: Prof. Marco Ruffino e David Suarez-Rivero
Promoção: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia
Apoio: Centro de Lógica, Epistemologia e História da Ciência/UNICAMP
Apoio Técnico: Secretaria de Eventos/IFCH


These lectures investigate the extent to which the study of natural language semantics can teach us about matters of what I call ultimate metaphysics. By ultimate metaphysics, I mean the final and complete inventory of what there is in the order of things. Ultimate metaphysics also includes an understanding of the nature of the things included in the final and complete inventory of what there is.
Ultimate metaphysics is to be contrasted with a merely passing inventory of what we either tacitly or explicitly take there to be. Though metaphysical inquiries are often drenched in semantic analyses of targeted expressions, modes of discourse, or forms of thought, I argue that semantics, at least the semantics of natural language constructions, has very little if anything to add to such inquiries, especially if they are taken to be inquiries into matters of ultimate
metaphysics. I also argue that if semantics is to be a successful explanatory enterprise in its own right, it should mostly eschew significant metaphysical ambitions. The key to success in semantics, in other words, is metaphysical modesty.