Good morning,Temp , Duns, Blue and Herm
What is the microstructure of "corresponding"? The Tarskian apparatus of truth-conditions and satisfaction-relations does not fill the bill, because that apparatus is equally well adapted to physicalist "building-block" theories of reference like Field's and to coherentist, holistic, pragmatical theories like Davidson's. When realists like Field argue that Tarski's account of truth is merely a place-holder, like Mendel's account of "gene," which requires physicalistic "reduction to non-semantical terms," pragmatists reply (with Stephen Leeds) that "true" (like "good" and unlike "gene") is not an explanatory notion. (Or that, if it is, the structure of the explanations in which it is used needs to be spelled out.)
The search for technical grounds on which to argue the pragmatist-realist issue is sometimes ended artificially by the realist assuming that the pragmatist not only (as Putnam says) follows Dewey in "falling back on a notion of 'warranted assertibility' instead of truth " but uses the latter notion to analyse the meaning of "true." Putnam is right that no such analysis will work. But the pragmatist, if he is wise, will not succumb to the temptation to fill the blank in
S is true if and only if S is assertible . . .
with "at the end of inquiry" or "by the standards of our culture" or with anything else. He will recognise the strength of Putnam's naturalistic fallacy" argument: Just as nothing can fill the blank in
A is the best thing to do in circumstances C if and only if . . .
so, a fortiori, nothing will fill the blank in
Asserting S is the best thing to do in C if and only if . . .
hope that will help a little
"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)
NietzscheIsDead, 09.03.2005 16:06