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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 9, pp 2565–2573 | Cite as

Yes, the search for explanation is all we have

  • Scott SoamesEmail author
Article

Reply to Schiffer

I begin with Stephen’s endorsement of Ostertag’s suggestion that truth conditions of propositions are as unproblematic as instantiation conditions of properties. The suggestion is understandable, but it misses something important. Yes, the triviality of routine instances of the propositional T-schema—e.g. the proposition that snow is white is true iff snow is white approaches the triviality of routine instances of the instantiation schema for properties—e.g. the property being white is instantiated by o iff o is white. But the underlying question, What sort of things must properties be in order to have instantiation conditions? is itself trivial in a way in which the question What sort of things must propositions be in order to have truth conditions? is not. Properties are ways things are or could be—e.g., being red and being round For a way something could be to be instantiated is for something to be that way—red or round. Agents have no role in this. Agents are, of...

Keywords

Truth Condition Representational Content Individual Concept Representational Property Direct Predication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Stephen Schiffer, Ben Caplan, and the audience at the Author Meets Critics session chaired by Trenton Mericks on Rethinking Language, Mind, and Meaning for their well informed and thought provoking comments.

References

  1. Soames, S. (2010a). What is meaning. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Soames, S. (2010b). Philosophy of language. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Soames, S. (2014). The analytic tradition in philosophy (Vol. 1). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Soames, S. (2015). Rethinking language, mind, and meaning. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.USC School of PhilosophyLos AngelesUSA

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