Anti-realism and speaker knowledge

Abstract

Dummettian anti-realism repudiates the realist's notion of ‘verification-transcendent’ truth. Perhaps the most crucial element in the Dummettian attack on realist truth is the critique of so-called “realist semantics”, which assigns verification-transcendent truth-conditions as the meanings of (some) sentences. The Dummettian critique charges that realist semantics cannot serve as an adequate theory of meaning for a natural language, and that, consequently, the realist conception of truth must be rejected as well. In arguing for this, Dummett and his followers have appealed to a certain conception of linguistic knowledge. This paper examines closely the appeal to speakers' knowledge of linguistic meaning, its force and limitations.

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Bar-On, D. Anti-realism and speaker knowledge. Synthese 106, 139–166 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00413698

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Keywords

  • Natural Language
  • Crucial Element
  • Adequate Theory
  • Linguistic Knowledge
  • Linguistic Meaning