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Work in progress Philosophy of Language Talk - Giulia Pravato on Faultless Disagreement without Relative Truth

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30 Jan 2013 15:00
30 Jan 2013 18:00
Europe/Rome

Giulia Pravato (Venezia) will present her work in progress in philosophy of language

Speaker: Giulia Pravato

Title: Faultless Disagreement without Relative Truth

Date: 30/1/2013

Time: 15-18

Venue: Aula Rossa, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Comunicazione, via Azzo Gardino 23, III floor, Bologna.

---ABSTRACT---

Faultless Disagreement without Relative Truth

Giulia Pravato

Many philosophers have recently claimed that some classes of predicates – here I’ll be concerned mainly with evaluative, notably aesthetic, predicates – display faultless disagreement effects, which we should account for when modelling their semantic behaviour. The key thought is that when a predicate F of the right sort (“tasty”, “funny”, “beautiful”) is involved, disagreement and mutual correctness can be compatible properties of thought (beliefs) or talk (assertions).
The phenomenon of faultless disagreement is the main motivation for a truth-relativist treatment of taste predicates. Relativism seems uniquely suited to explaining the co-occurrence of both features, contradiction and faultlessness. My main concern in this paper is to reject this inference to the best explanation. In particular, I offer an alternative approach which (i) makes use of indeterminacy in truth-value rather than relative truth and which (ii) attributes two kinds of contents to aesthetic judgments: a descriptive-propositional content and an expressive content. Utterances of sentences about what is tasty, funny, cool, beautiful, etc. express a proposition which is neither true nor false, so that there is no fact of the matter about which party to the dispute (over such proposition) is correct and which party is incorrect. Meanwhile, expressive content serves to explain why we believe, assert, dispute, etc. propositions which, by failing to rule in or rule out possibilities, are informationally empty.

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