Yes, the search for explanation is all we have
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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...
KeywordsTruth Condition Representational Content Individual Concept Representational Property Direct Predication
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.