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Alexis G. Burgess and John P. Burgess

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144016

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144016.001.0001

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(p.83) Chapter Six Antirealism

Alexis G. Burgess

John P. Burgess

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines antirealism as well as the relations among truth-conditional semantics, verification-conditional semantics, and deflationism. Early in the last century there was a debate between two groups of mathematicians: classical mathematicians and mathematical intuitionists. The debate was usually perceived as being about the existence and nature of mathematical objects, and sometimes perceived as a revival or reincarnation of a traditional debate between “realists” and “conceptualists” over the existence and nature of universals. The mathematicians' differences over which existence proofs are acceptable stem from more fundamental differences over which logical inferences are acceptable. Michael Dummett has urged that not just the mathematical debate, but a whole range of debates over various forms of realism, should be reconfigured as a debate over the proper form for an account of meaning. The chapter considers the concepts of meaning and truth, compares Dummettianism with Davidsonianism and deflationism, and discusses holism and pluralism.

Keywords:   antirealism, truth-conditional semantics, verification-conditional semantics, deflationism, meaning, truth, Dummettianism, Davidsonianism, holism, pluralism

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