Synthese

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Denial and retraction: a challenge for theories of taste predicates

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Abstract

Sentences containing predicates of personal taste exhibit two striking features: (a) whether they are true seems to lie in the eye of the beholder and (b) whether they are true can be—and often is—subject to disagreement. In the last decade, there has been a lively debate about how to account for these two features. In this paper, I shall argue for two claims: first, I shall show that even the most promising approaches so far offered by proponents of so-called indexical contextualism fail to account for the disagreement feature. They might be able to account for some disagreement data, but they have trouble accounting for two kinds of disagreement data that caused the estrangement from indexical contextualism and the migration to relativism in the first place: the denial and the retraction data. Second, I shall show that we still do not have to abandon indexical contextualism, because what I shall call the superiority approach—a new pragmatically extended version of indexical contextualism—can very well account for the data.

Keywords

Predicates of personal taste Denial Retraction Contextualism Relativism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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