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What Is Said

What Is Said

(p.189) 12 What Is Said
Stephen Yablo
Princeton University Press

This chapter begins with the notions of piggybacking and pivoting, suggeting that metaphorical contents—contents obtainable by piggybacking on a game—cannot always be reconstrued as incremental contents—contents obtained by pivoting on a suitably related presupposition. Pivoting is a limited operation, compared to piggybacking. However, the argument for this applies just when A is closed to its metaphorical content. It could be that piggybacking on a game G can always be simulated by pivoting on a corresponding presupposition, provided that every A is open to its G-induced metaphorical content. It is uncertain whether this is really so, but we can adopt it as a working hypothesis. The chapter then makes the following conjecture: most, if not all, of the philosophically controversial games—the games invoked by fictionalists about numbers, sets, properties, mereological sums, other times and worlds, and so on—are hyperbolic. The facts that make A pretendable are included in the facts that would make it true. This is illustrated with number fictionalism.

Keywords:   piggybacking, pivoting, unexpected content, number fictionalism

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